The USO of Metropolitan Washington (USO Metro) has achieved a major accomplishment in its commitment to serve our troops. In December of 2011, USO Metro surpassed the one million mark for the number of troops they have supported in its airport centers.
USO Metro began taking care of America’s troops and their families at airports when it opened its first center inside Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) in 1999.
Volunteers work at the BWI airport center.
The timeline below shows in detail how the USO Metro airport services have expanded over the years.
USO Metro’s Airport Centers Timeline
- 1999: BWI opens doors to USO Metro’s first airport center
- 2001: Reagan National Airport (Reagan) center opens
- 2005: Andrews Air Force Base opens an information desk
- 2007: Washington Dulles International Airport (Dulles) center opens
- 2010: Andrews Air Force Base airport center opens
According to USO Metro’s Airport Services Manager, Pam Horton, the 15,000-square-foot BWI center is both the largest and busiest center because of the Air Mobility Command (AMC) flights that many troops travel on through BWI. The other airport centers primarily serve troops who are flying on commercial flights.
Like all USO centers, the BWI center has many amenities geared to create a comfortable and home-like lounge for our troops. The facilities at BWI’s center include a concession filled with food and drinks, a sleeping room, children’s room, computer room, lounge with television and comfortable chairs, and Xbox games.
While BWI is the largest location, USO Metro’s achievement is a celebration for each airport center and USO Metro’s airport services program.
The number of guests at each airport center shows how each location has contributed to USO Metro’s grand total of 1,020,211 troops and family members served.
USO Metro Airport Centers’ Guests from 1998-2011
- BWI = 762,797
- Dulles = 129, 936
- Reagan = 84, 567
- Andrews AFB = 42, 911
- Grand Total = 1, 020, 211
USO Metro Airport Centers’ Guests for 2011
- BWI = 71, 313
- Dulles = 30,302
- Reagan = 21,777
- Andrews AFB = 42, 911
Horton, who was first a USO Metro volunteer at BWI, says the milestone would not be possible without the support each airport center receives from its committed volunteers. The four airport centers currently have a total of 715 volunteers on file, all of whom are committed to at least two shifts each month.
Similar to USO centers around the world, USO Metro and its volunteers have remained dedicated to serving our troops, one by one.
Congratulations to USO Metro and your volunteers on touching over one million troops and family members! - Sarah Camille Hipp, Communications Specialist