FULTON, NY – How many in the area know about the Gregory J. Harris Courtesy Room located in the Syracuse airport?
Most people in the area were unaware of this facility, including the members of the Fulton Noon Rotary Club.
Recently, Marvin Joslyn and Sue Widowski presented a program to the Rotarians on the Harris Courtesy Room.
Marv is a member of the Baldwinsville Rotary Club and as assistant governor this year, he has set the goal of providing all types of materials the traveling service men and women need at the courtesy room.
As AG, Marvin oversees five Rotary clubs and he collects the items that the Rotarians bring to their meetings, and takes them to the airport.
Sue is a volunteer at the courtesy room.
She is a retired nurse teacher in the Fulton School District.
In 2008, two Homeland Security/TSA employees, and service veterans, Loren Davies and Leroy Bowen, noticed the many service personnel that had to lay over as they passed through the Syracuse airport.
There was no place for them to go or anything for them to do.
This was obviously unacceptable to these veterans, so they decided to do something about it.
With the cooperation of the airport management and (then) Mayor Matt Driscoll, a large room was found to set up the courtesy room.
The room was named in honor of Cpl. Gregory J. Harris, a U.S. Marine, who was captured in June of 1966 in Vietnam and is still unaccounted for.
He was a 1963 graduate of West Genesee High School.
Thanks to the great number of volunteers, the room was prepared, stocked with food, drink, a lounge area, a TV, WiFi and games for the servicemen and their families.
Sue told the Rotarians several stories about some of the people she has met through her volunteer work at the Courtesy room and how much they appreciate the services offered there.
Sue said that the room is open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day and has no problem staffing it with volunteers.
Since opening in 2008, more than 51,000 servicemen and women have used the facility.
This seems like a nice way to give a little back to the men and women serving our country.