Forgetful flyers are actually helping veterans

The first batch of donations, weighing 180 pounds, awaits shipment to the Vietnam Veterans of America. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)

ARLINGTON, Va. – Forgetful flyers are providing a new wardrobe for veterans.

Hurried and stressed, passengers leave behind heaps of clothing at the security checkpoint.

But instead of a futile wait at the lost and found, the racks of clothes now have a noble second life.

“For the most part, it was disposed of. And now this is just an enormous outlet for folks that can actually use this and are deserving of it,” says Robert Allison, the federal security director for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

The airport partnered with the Transportation Security Administration to donate unclaimed clothing to veterans and their families.

“Now we’re not going to dispose them, we’re going to going to give them to a worthy cause, our veterans,” says Paul Malandrino, the airport manager. “Helping those who have helped us and protected us.”

The first shipment of clothes, weighing 180 pounds, went to the Vietnam Veterans of America.

“This is a very large donation, and I’m hopeful that we’ll have an ongoing partnership,” says Sharon Hodge, the organization’s associate director of government affairs. “Whenever they have a donation that they want to give us, we won’t turn it down!”

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