Southwest Airlines Feeds U.S. Marines Stranded Overnight at Wichita Airport

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Wichita, KS-A group of U.S. Marines traveling from Camp Lejeune, N.C. to Twentynine Palms, C.A. didn’t have to embrace the suck on Wednesday morning after their red-eye coast-to-coast flight on another carrier was grounded early in the morning.

When Southwest Airlines employees arrived for work, employees Hayle’ Daun Griffith, Karen Coto and Aurora Sparks noticed the group of Marines, who were waiting for a flight on another airline stranded in the airport after restaurants closed and made sure they were taken care of.

“This morning at 4:30 am when southwest employees arrived to work, we noticed there were about 100 troops spread around the airport. After asking we found out they had to stop for fuel from camp LeJeune to Twentynine Palms and unfortunately, the crew timed out last night, therefore they were forced to stay overnight in the airport,” Griffith said. “With no restaurants open that late they were unable to get any food. They weren’t our passengers but we still took it upon ourselves to go get supplies to personally make 200 breakfast burritos, also supplying them with doughnuts, milk, and orange juice, all provided from by the ICT Culture committee.”

Now, being a Marine, we’re used to sleeping just about anywhere…on rocks, concrete, in the sand, in the mud, you name it, we’ve slept there.  While for many Marines, sleeping on a molded plastic airport bench is pretty much an upgrade, the gesture of hospitality shown by Southwest Airlines for a group of Jarheads who aren’t even their customers is like a 5-star upgrade.

After their flight departed, the Marines left for a place we like to describe we affectionally call “Hell on Earth”.

Photos by Hayle Daun Griffith