When Lt. Col. M. DeLisa Deutsch planned to meet up with Army friends in Germany over the holidays, an overnight layover near Washington, D.C., wasn’t part of her original travel itinerary.
Continued delays on her initial flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Dulles International Airport outside Washington — where she would catch her international connection to Germany — left Deutsch facing an unexpected overnight stay at Dulles with nowhere to spend the night.
Luckily, USO Dulles Lounge volunteer and veteran Lee Bauer was there to lend a helping hand.
“When I dragged my bags through the doors of the USO, I was greeted with, ‘Are you coming or going’ and I responded [to Bauer] that I didn’t really know,” Deutsch said in an email.
Bauer, who has volunteered with the USO since October 2012, immediately reached out to surrounding hotels to find Deutsch a place to rest her head.
“Within minutes he came to me with a smile and informed me he had a [free] room for me at a nearby hotel, (the Holiday Inn Chantilly),” Deutsch said. “He walked me to the shuttle, chatting about his time in the service, and wished me a good evening and safe travels. I appreciated him and the other volunteers at this and other USO [centers] more than I can say.”
After arriving in Germany, Deutsch also stopped by the USO Frankfurt International Airport to get some sleep.
“It was small, but the staff was kind and there was a couch and a blanket and pillow,” Deutsch said. “It was the first sleep I had since the redeye flight I was able to get on the following day.”