Cherry Point Marines get warm welcome at RDU despite cold weather


They landed about 9 p.m. Wednesday at RDU and they have beds to sleep in, food, and drinks thanks to the USO and local companies.

The 275 Marines are just getting back from Afghanistan and buses took them to five area hotels for the night. Their other options were to sleep at the airport, or to jump on buses right away for Cherry Point.

The USO told ABC11 that neither of those options was acceptable. They kicked it into high gear, and got Jimmy Johns, for instance, to donate 175 subs to the troops.

"There were talking about taking buses down there. Obviously, with road conditions the way they are, we'd better be safe," said North Carolina USO President John Falkenbury. "That's why we're so appreciative of the guys at the RDU Airport, our volunteers, all of the local hotels. There are five to six hotels that have ponied up rooms help to keep these troops overnight."

The troops' weapons became an issue because they obviously aren't allowed inside the airport. So, they were stored under the plane until other arrangements could be made.

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