Local News

Soldiers Stranded by Snowstorm Sleep at RDU

Posted March 17, 2007 8:03 p.m. EDT
Updated March 17, 2007 10:50 p.m. EDT

— A winter storm that dumped snow, sleet and freezing rain on the Northeast is gone, but travel problems continue. And the problems aren't only in the Northeast.

The situation at Raleigh-Durham International Airport has improved since Friday, when many flights north were delayed and canceled. But there are still many people trying to get home, including nine Marines who were stranded until early Saturday evening.

“I just had a son I haven't seen,” said Cpl. Daniel Galvan. “I'm hoping to get back to him and see my son for the first time.”

Galvan was one of nine Marine reservists who had served in Africa for the past six months. Five days ago, they started their trip back home to Texas.

However, Mother Nature got in the way, and their temporary home away from home was on the second floor of Terminal A, inside the USO lounge at RDU.

“We're just trying to make them as comfortable as we can until their transition to their homes,” said Lola Lawson, the assistant director of the lounge.

The Marines were treated to home cooked food, cookies, and candy by staffers.

“The USO kept us here, fed us,” Galvan said. “(They) took really good care of us.”

Early Saturday evening, all nine Marine reservists were once again on their way. They still have several flights to take before their eventual arrival in Texas. However, they told WRAL they prefer that to being stuck at RDU until Monday, which is when they were originally told they'd be able to get the first flight out.