Tuesday, July 08, 2008


FINALLY! The Gregory J Harris Military Courtesy Room is close to coming to fruition.....

OK Mates, and all you great folks out there who so selflessly and generously donated to the Military Courtesy Room at the Syracuse International Airport, here's the GREAT NEWS!

If'n Y'all been a followin this blog, Y'all know that we had some unavoidable delays in being able to set an opening date, as well as getting the keys to the room so generously donated by Mayor of Syracuse, Matt Driscoll and Commissioner of Aviation, Anthony Mancuso. Even though we had been told that this project was a "Done Deal" as far as the room went, it still needed the final approval of The City of Syracuse Common Council, which, we obtained yesterday when they finally voted on the issue and approved it unanimously. This was the main stumbling block that had us in a holding pattern regarding the project.

Loren Davies and myself will be picking up the keys to the room tomorrow, and shortly thereafter, begin moving things like a refrigerator, microwave, counters, commercial coffee urn and supplies into the room, as well as hanging posters, banners, welcome signs and pictures. There's a lot of work still left to be done.

Now, here it is (drum roll please), the Official Opening Date Ceremony is set for Tuesday, July the 29th between 10 and 11:00 AM. We plan on having a "soft opening" sometime between now and then so we can start servicing our men and women of the Armed Forces with the courtesy they so dearly deserve. That soft opening date hasn't been decided as yet.

My son in law, is at present, attempting to line up a "multi-force" Color Guard for the occasion. Also, one of our local Veterans organizations will try to have a full military band present playing all the appropriate music. The ceremony will also be attended by many local and State political dignitaries. Our local newspaper, The Syracuse Post Standard, will also be running a story on Wednesday regarding how all this came to be and the efforts of sooooo many folks who have rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to help.

Two of my neighbors, Joanne and Bret, who are both teachers, upon hearing of the project immediately came up with the idea of having their students, 1st graders and up, make Thank You cards for the departing troops that utilize the room, so that our Service folks can take a Thank You Card with a nice message of gratitude from a young child. See, almost everyone wants to pitch in and do something nice in some way or another, although, if you watch and listen to the Main Stream Media with any regularity, you'd never know it.

If all goes as expected, a United States Navy Lt. Commander, Chris Flaherty will be flying in a Navy, P-3, Orion aircraft into the base for this event, and will be bringing a crew of 18, including the his Squadron Commander out of the Pentagon. He is attempting to get permission from the local FAA folks to land the aircraft on that date.

Talk about our excitement level beginning to rise...WOW! And all of this has been made possible by all you great patriotic Americans out there who love our great country and respect our fine Military people for all that they do. You broke out your checkbooks and wallets and chipped in to help us.

For yet another time in my life, I am so very proud of my country and the good people in it.....