Everyone has some idea about what the USO does. Mostly we associate the USO with bringing celebrities and others overseas to entertain the troops, however, this past weekend I found myself temporarily delayed in an airport so I wandered upstairs to the USO office to check out their offerings for weary travelers.
I was fairly overwhelmed with all of the services they provided. We were greeted warmly by the lady at the front desk, they quickly whisked our luggage away to storage, offered us food and drinks, gave us the code for free wi-fi, pointed out the TV room, the showers, and the bunk room. They even had a nursery for families traveling with small children, free computers to use if you didn't have your own, and a large area with couches just to relax on. EVERYTHING, food and beverages included, were offered free of charge. What an amazing oasis in a chaotic airport. There was even a (very old, circa World War II) retired soldier there volunteering and just chatting with the guys--mostly young soldiers in transit from various military stations--who had some really interesting stories to tell.
When I asked how these airport USO services were funded, the lady said by donations and volunteer help. I donate my time/money/services to various organizations in my community and abroad but this organization will definitely move to the top of my giving list now after seeing in action what donations and volunteering for such a good cause can do.
If you would like to support the USO, go to www.uso.org for more information.