Marines deal with 19-hour layover at airport

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – A miscommunication with a military contractor has left 140 US Marine reservists stranded at Prior Aviation airport in Cheektowaga.

The Marines are deployed for the next three weeks for training in the Mojave Desert, but the next plane won’t come until 8 p.m. Thursday. That means the reservists will have a 19-hour layover.

They are local reservists with Company C, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines. Capatin James Bagg says he comes to expect this sort of thing.

“It just happens. There’s so many moving parts, you get used to not everything is going to run perfectly all the time. So when there’s a small hiccup, you just deal with it, and push on.”

“I mean you walk in, you feel sorry for them that their plane’s not going be here this evening and you got these guys sitting here,” said Chad Kaczmarek, who works at Prior Aviation.

Kaczmarek called an old friend, Skip Wardynski, who showed up with 80 pounds of Wardynski hot dogs and sausage. The Prior Aviation staffers personally served it up.

“You got to help them for what they go through and what they do for us everyday,” Kaczmarek said.

Major Justin Huber said, “We’re just so grateful for the hospitality of these guys.”

Some of the Marines admit, this lunch sure beats the alternative.

“What we usually eat out in the field would be one of these ‘Meal Ready to Eat’ with a lot of preservatives,” said Corporal Keith Ramos.

These Marine reservists are based in Western New York. Some live five minutes from the airport, but they can’t pass the time at home according to Major Huber.

“No, we’re in the training mode right now; we’re ready to go.”

The Marines are heading to California where they will spend the next three weeks training in the Mojave Desert.

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