Basic trainees return to Fort Sill after overnight stay in airports

Basic trainees return to Fort Sill after overnight stay in airports

LAWTON, OK (RNN Texoma) - Hundreds of basic trainees are back on Fort Sill after being stranded at airports in Oklahoma City and Dallas due to the winter weather. Some trainees said they didn’t know they wouldn’t make the trip back to Fort Sill until they got to the airport last night. That’s when people in Oklahoma City found out soldiers were stranded there and decided to make sure they had everything they needed.

Private Dylan Stone spent his holiday block leave with family in Corpus Christi. He said he wasn't prepared for snow when he landed at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.

"It was warm,” he said. “A lot warmer than here, so this is kinda a shock."

Private Stone said while it was hard saying goodbye to family and friends and even harder preparing to spend the night at the airport, he credits the community with helping him, and other service members get through it and for bringing them food.

“Everybody, before that, was kinda dragging a little bit, but after that, we started talking to each other, and we’re like ‘ok, let’s get this done, let’s get this going and finish basic and get out of here.’ Without the community, we’d probably still be dragging right now, but we’re not dragging,” Stone said.

The mayor of Oklahoma City also dropped off breakfast this morning.

“I had the best doughnut of my life,” Stone said. “I mean I can’t talk about that enough. I’ve been talking about it to people on the bus. It wasn’t the first time that I had Krispy Kreme. I don’t know if it was the circumstances, but it was a regular ole glazed doughnut, and it was the best doughnut I’ve ever had in my life.”

Training officials at Fort Sill said they made the decision to have the troops spend the night at airports because they knew they'd be safer there than on the roads. Liaison teams were also there to make sure the trainees were where they needed to be.

Meanwhile, in Dallas, troops got supplies from USO.

"I think it was really welcoming,” Private Emily Murphy said. “It was really warm and inviting to get to that airport, and everyone was there trying to just help us out and make us comfortable for our stay there."

While the soldiers are back on post getting settled in before they resume training, they won't forget the kindness shown to them any time soon.

"It was awesome to see the community come together for complete strangers,” Stone said. “I think that says a lot about Oklahoma City."

Because of the delay, there was a long line of troops waiting to get checked in today. Basic training starts back up on Monday.

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