‘Thank You for your Service’ Takes on a Whole New Meaning at Alicia’s Diner

October 7, 2016


by Doug Robinson

Every day, since July 11, up to a dozen of the military’s finest from the 53D Air Traffic Control Squadron has been dining at Alicia’s Diner for their noon time lunch.  “This has been our home away from home,” said Quincey Mosley, PhD, retired Air Force.

The Air Force air traffic control squadron has gone there so often that they have Alicia’s special menu memorized:  Monday, meatloaf; Tuesday, shepherd’s pie; Wednesday, pasta; Thursday, chicken pot pie; and Friday, fish and chips.

The military, in partnership with Raytheon, has been developing and testing a new type of portable radar for air traffic control.  The site in Pelham was selected as the “terrain and facility best suited their needs.  Each air traffic controller in the squad has brought a talent or specialty to the development site, including air traffic controller, radar maintenance, air field maintenance, communications specialist, HVAC technician as well as those who are specialized in power and electricity as they work as a team to complete the project.”

“This portable radar will allow air traffic controllers to land and provide safety to planes in areas where we have had disasters and the airport control towers have been damaged or destroyed,” stated Mosley.  “This unit is portable, on wheels, and can be maneuvered into those areas where disasters have occurred.  We are in the developmental, construction and testing phase now, and we will be here until November.”

Alicia’s Tracy Hoey has been the “face of the place and we call her mama,” commented Mosley.

“She has bent over backwards for us.  This place has great food, large quantities of food, and this has been our family away from home.”

Mosley went on to explain that customers are always coming up to the servicemen and women and “thanking us for our service.  We thought it was time for us to thank Alicia’s for their service.  So, the team got together and we created this plaque.  It states, “Alicia’s Diner, Our home away from home.  Thank you for your hospitality during our many visits.  Your chicken pot pie rules.”  Your friends from the 53 ATC’s!”

As they finished their meals of chicken pot pie, stuffed peppers, omelets and shepherd’s pie, Tracy personified the ‘home away from home’ atmosphere as she handed out homemade pumpkin cupcakes that she had made in her kitchen, during the early hours that morning.  “My son wanted one of these, but I told him that these were for you.  Enjoy!”

Senior Master Sergeant Chris McMullan stated, “These folks have been our family as we live away from home.  To us, Tracy is mama.  We have never felt more at home.  We thank Alicia’s for their service.”