Nonprofit holds ribbon cutting for military lounge in ENC airport

ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – All active duty and military Veterans now have a special place to kick back at one Eastern Carolina airport.

A ribbon cutting was held Wednesday morning at the Albert J. Ellis Airport to open the new military lounge, all thanks to the Hope For The Warriors nonprofit.

“It was such a great opportunity first to create a welcoming space for people coming to Jacksonville,” said Robin Kelleher, the founder of Hope For The Warriors.

The lounge, staffed by volunteers, is located on the first floor next to the baggage claim, where military families can relax, watch TV and get a bite to eat.

“Have a place to stop off, get a cup ofcoffee, someone shake their hand, and thank them for their service,” said John Kopka, who served in the Marnie Corps for more that 30 years.

A special section for kids, including their drawings on the wall, welcomes all military families. This was made possible by volunteer support and donations, such as some corporate sponsorships. For example, Food Lion and Frito Lay are partnering with the nonprofit to provide any snacks or drinks the nonprofit needs for the lounge.

The lounge has not officially opened yet, but they will start welcoming all active duty and Veterans on Tuesday, April 2.

The hours will be the peak flight times for military flights and are listed below.

Monday 12:30 – 8 p.m., Tuesday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Wednesday – Saturday 12:30 – 6 p.m., and Sunday 12:30 – 5 p.m. You can volunteer or learn more about the services offered by Hope For The Warriors on their website.