Military Lounge Area at Detroit Metro Airport

Posted by Brian / on 12/01/2010 / 0 Comments

The following was sent to me by Col Ken Pratt, a Sustaining Member of our Historical Association who was in the MI ANG from 1980 to 2001.

Perhaps you are aware that last year, for the first time in recent history, Delta Airlines provided a lounge area for military personnel during the Holiday Season.
It was a very spontaneous undertaking.  We staffed it from 0600 until 2100 hrs over a two week period. Although modest, it was well received by all those who found their way to our location inside the Main Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport. During our 14 days of operation we hosted 2800 personnel. Despite the humble beginning, it was an unqualified success!

Using that experience as a springboard, Delta Airlines is currently in the process of organizing a more robust Military Lounge Area project for this Holiday Season.

As you know, the National USO organization has chosen not to support a facility in our area.  Therefore, we are not in a position to use the name "USO" in our title.
However, in every respect we plan to have the "look and feel" of a traditional USO Lounge.  And if anyone asks, "where is the USO at DTW?" we'll answer the call!

Planning and preparation have been underway for several weeks.  We have literally dozens of volunteers working on every possible aspect of this project.  And, as of today, I am thrilled to report that we have been given permission to use the premiere location directly opposite the Delta Sky Club.  This is a similarly designed facility that was originally created for another major airline.  However, for over five years it has been vacant and unused.  The entrance and reception area  is barrier-free.  It has separate areas for resting and recreation.  There is a food service area and two sets of restrooms.  It will rival any USO in the Country for convenience, accessibility and service.

There is an enthusiastic groundswell of support for this project from within the ranks of Delta employees.  However, we are well aware that many others in the community are also interested in seeing this project succeed.  Our plan is to open the day-to-day staffing to volunteers from outside the airport.  I'm sure that there are lots of folks in Southeast Michigan that would be interested in volunteering  to staff this facility.  So, we are in the process of making arrangements for volunteers to be allowed to obtain "gate passes" so they can process through the TSA checkpoints.  And, we are attempting to obtain parking passes for the volunteers that are working at the Military Lounge Area!

In the near future we will provide information on how and where to make contributions or volunteer for duty as a "staff member".

Our facility will be open from 18 December 2010 until 7 January 2011 from 0600-2100 hrs.  All are welcome.

Here is our vision:

Our mission is to provide a world-class reception center, for military personnel, at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.  Our goal is to provide a home-like atmosphere that meets the needs of traveling service members and their families.  This facility is supported and staffed by individuals and organizations at the Airport and from surrounding communities. Our doors are open to individuals on active duty, National Guard members, Reservists, and cadets. We also welcome military spouses, dependents, and retirees.



Ken Pratt
COL USAF (ret)
Captain, Delta Airlines
c. 314.753.0511


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