USO AMC Terminal at Kadena AFB Gets a Makeover!

The USO AMC Terminal lounge officially reopened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 20, 2010. (Photo by USO Okinawa)

During the month of September, our team at USO Okinawa worked hard to upgrade and renovate the USO AMC terminal at Kadena AFB with the special help of a few great volunteers who took charge to make it all happen.

This project was spearheaded by my wife Debbie Kolstad (wife of USO Regional Vice President for the Pacific Thomas Kolstad), volunteer coordinator Shirley Smiley and her husband Tom Smiley, and AMC Command Billy Fisher from DRMO.  They cleaned, sorted, scrubbed, painted, selected furnishings, and arranged and decorated with all of the new furniture.

It was truly a collaborative effort, with Air Mobility Command (AMC) helping to provide for the furniture and fixtures; the Air Force donating and installing carpet for the luggage room; donations of three appliances and a 42″ TV; and donated paint applied – along with wall decor –  by the volunteers.  The space was completed with 17 USO posters from the Arlington.  A huge thank you goes out to each and every volunteer who helped make this happen!

BEFORE: A fresh coat of paint was just one step of many during the three-week process of renovating the lounge! (Photo by USO Okinawa)

As reported by Airman 1st Class Maeson L. Elleman, 18th Wing Public Affairs, thousands of travelers pass through Kadena’s Air Mobility Command passenger terminal. The journey usually includes waiting hours on end before heading to their final destinations.

“It looks really nice, and it’s an inviting place,” Brig. Gen. Ken Wilsbach, 18th Wing commander said at the ribbon cutting ceremony Sep. 20. “In the past, maybe people wouldn’t have used it because it wasn’t as nice, but now it’s more inviting and more comfortable.  Volunteers put their hearts and souls into making it a nice place for Airmen and their families to rest.”

The USO has been a part on Okinawa for more than 50 years, providing servicemembers with an entourage of assistance and information to help ease the burdens of traveling.

“If you just pop in on a Space-A flight, and you end up spending a night, you don’t necessarily know where everything is, so it’s a great source of information,” stated General Wilsbach.

The terminal USO is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Gardner Williams, manager of the AMC terminal and Gate 2 USOs, said people can volunteer to help the USO to keep it open longer or more days by going by either USO on base and filling out a volunteer form. People can also donate money or baked goods to either USO to support servicemembers and their families.

The refurbished main seating area features a flat-screen, high-definition TV with a surround-sound system and Blu-Ray player, several new leather couches, free wireless Internet, an Internet phone. (Photo by USO Okinawa)

Kids now have a special place to play and nap peacefully! (Photo by USO Okinawa)

Clear Channel Radio Partners with the USO

Clear Channel Radio has announced a multi-platform campaign for the USO as part of the Company’s Q4 2010 National Community Engagement campaign. Leveraging its radio and digital platforms, Clear Channel Radio will drive awareness for the critical support the USO provides for members of the U.S. military and their families.

“Whether it’s operating in more than 160 USO locations around the world or the hundreds of thousands of care packages sent every year or the vital support they provide for our wounded warriors, the USO symbolizes what it means to ‘Support our Troops,’” said Clay Hunnicutt, Senior Vice President of Programming at Clear Channel Radio. “Our platforms reach millions of Americans and with the enthusiastic backing of our thousands of employees, Clear Channel Radio is dedicated and committed to doing everything we can to promote the great work that the USO is doing for our country’s heroes.”

We’ve created an exclusive USO iheartradio Digital Channel featuring videos, interviews, photos, Facebook and twitter updates of USO programs, soldiers and their families. The channel also includes a section where supporters can directly contribute by making donations to the USO, sending thank you letters and joining “Team USO.”  The USO channel is also available on the iheartradio application on the iPhone, iPhone Touch, Blackberry, and Android devices!

Also part of the campaign are a series of public service announcements (PSAs) developed by Clear Channel, which are being broadcast on more than 850 stations in 150 markets across the nation. From October 1st to December 10th, Clear Channel Radio will run more than 200,000 PSAs, which will include a combination of live read scripts and pre-recorded announcements, to encourage individuals and communities to get involved with the USO by supporting the various programs and services they offer, including the USO’s Wounded Warrior programs, overall fundraising initiatives, care packages and Operation Phone Home efforts, among others.