Members of the military, veterans and their families now have a quiet, private space set aside for them at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The Military and Veterans Hospitality Lounge is now open inside Sky Harbor's Terminal 2. “We owe it the men and women serving our country and our veterans to provide a space such as this at Sky Harbor,” said Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.
The Lounge is equipped with comfortable sofas and chairs, a computer, a large-screen TV, games and even a children's play area for families. These amenities were either donated or purchased through the fundraising efforts of the Phoenix Military Veterans Affairs Commission.
The Phoenix Police Airport Bureau collected donations among the officers and furnished a game room for the lounge in honor of Marine Corporal Christopher Lapka. Corporal Lapka, son of Phoenix Police Officer, Kenneth Lapka, was killed in action in Iraq in October 2004.
Volunteers staff the Military and Veterans Lounge at Sky Harbor. Even though it only recently opened, word has quickly spread, and many service men and women have spent layovers watching television, making phone calls or checking email in the Lounge. Some military families also use the Lounge as a private area where they may spend quiet time together before their loved one departs. It is a quiet contrast to the hustle and bustle of the busy airport terminal. “We will never forget the sacrifices that members of the military continue to make for us,” said Mayor Gordon. “This is just one small way that we can show our appreciation.”