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USO greets military travelers at two airport terminals
Servicemembers relax in the USO at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, Mo. (Courtesy Photo)
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USO greets military travelers at two Saint Louis airport terminals

Posted 11/3/2010   Updated 11/4/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. Jerome C. Baysmore
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


11/3/2010 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- The Lambert-St. Louis International Airport United Service Organization has extended its greetings to military and their families to both terminals.

Although most international airports host one USO, St. Louis opened two--the James S. McDonnell USO in Terminal 1 that opened in 1981 and the Terminal 2 satellite Sept. 4, 2007.

"The USO of Missouri, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization, whose mission is to lift the spirits of America's troops and their families by providing a 'touch of home' through our facilities, a shoulder when needed, and fun family events," said Ms. Kathy O'Connor, USO of Missouri executive director. "I am the proud daughter of two World War II veterans. My Mom served as a teletype operator in the Navy and my Dad was a quartermaster in the Army.

Ms. O'Conner said working at the USO was a natural fit because of her military upbringing.

"As a child I spent quite a bit of time attending veterans' related events and visiting the bases where my sister was stationed. Additionally, I was brought up to honor and respect our military members. When this opportunity came up, it just seemed like a natural fit for me."

She also said the second facility at Lambert is intended to help welcome military families who may not have time to travel to the main terminal.

"Our traffic through our Terminal 2 location continues to increase, and we receive great feedback regarding this facility," she said.

The USO of Missouri serves around 300,000 patrons at facilities throughout the state and surrounding areas through the Fort Leonard Wood USO Club, Dennis Jones Family Foundation Mobile USO and various other outreach programs. The USO is a private organization supported by donations from generous individuals and companies.

"The USO of Missouri is a great organization that gives back 110 percent to our local military and their families," said Sara Colvin, special events and communications director. "While many people think we receive our funding from the National USO organization, the United Way or the government, we do not.

"We raise all of our funds ourselves which in turn allows us to use those funds locally for our local military," she continued. "It's a pleasure to give back to the military that gives up so much for us day in and day out. We take great pride in helping them have a better day each and every time we are serving our military guests."

For more information on the Missouri USO or to volunteer, log on to www.usomissouri.org to complete an online volunteer application, print a copy of their wish list or make a donation.



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