BUFFALO, N.Y. --The Buffalo Niagara International Airport revealed a new way it is recognizing the sacrifices of military service personnel Sunday.
A ribbon cutting was held at the airport for the grand opening of the WNY Freedom Lounge. The lounge is a private courtesy center away from usual travel stresses where military personnel can relax between flights and enjoy light refreshments.
The atmosphere is meant to boost their morale while they are away from home, organizers say.
The center is free of charge for not only military personnel, but also their families.
Walther added that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are among the disorders that many military personnel can suffer from and that can be worsened by crowded traveling environments.
The lounge is open as long as there are volunteers to staff it, Walther said. However, he also said there are airport personnel that could help with staffing the center if no volunteers are available.
Walther said he hopes those who visit the WNY Freedom Lounge can find a sense of friendliness in an otherwise stressful situation that he found at several freedom lounges he's visited in his travels.
"It's nice to have that comradery," he said. "To be able to walk in the door, stuck for an extra two or three hours at an airport, and know I can go and meet with people that I have the same brotherhood with."