Tonight I am thankful for the USO. The USO is a private, non-profit, Congressionally-appointed organization that is funded by individuals and organizations who want to provide different opportunities for military families. Originally founded in 1941 as an organization to provide entertainment to troops around the world, the USO closed its doors as troops returned home from World War II. Then as Vietnam started ramping up, the USO opened again to provide opportunities. Under the appointment of Harry Truman, the USO became an organization that is operational while troops are home and abroad.
Not only does the USO provide concerts and entertainment to troops down-range, services for wounded warriors, phone calls home and neat concerts and shows for families at home, they also provide spaces in select airports for families to rest when waiting for a flight, their flight is changed or some other unfortunate travel sequence occurs. Tonight I write in a comfy chair, with ESPN highlights on, food in my belly, wireless internet and a kind person to ensure I am awake for my 4 AM trip through security at the St. Louis airport. I did not intend to fly through St. Louis, much less be stuck here overnight, but I am thankful for the safe-haven the USO has provided me tonight. When traveling, be aware of whether or not there is a USO at the airport(s) you are flying through; wonderful volunteers work to make the rough airline delays a little more bearable.
You must have your military ID to enter, and spouses and families may enter and use the airport facilities without their military spouse.
**Click here to learn more about the USO or make a donation.