USO at Indianapolis Airport Receives Much Needed Updates

  • Published
  • By Capt. Randi Brown
  • 181 IW/CCE
     On October 19 the USO held a ceremony to announce that a generous gift of $25,000 enabled them to update the lounge located in the airport. Indianapolis philanthropists, Stephen and Margaret Cole Russell, presented the USO with the donation in December of 2009.

     The newly refurbished USO lounge is located on the lower level of the Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal building. Servicemembers can utilize the facility to wait comfortably for departing or connecting flights. There are several luxury recliners to enjoy while watching the large screen high definition television or reading a free book from the library. A PlayStation and Wii gaming systems are also available to help pass the time. The canteen is heavily stocked from quick snack items for a grab-n-go, or microwavable treats.

     The lounge is supported by a small group of volunteers and it is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Many of the volunteers are either military family members or retired servicemembers. As Brig. Gen. Margaret Washburn said, "This is someplace I can come because I wear this uniform. I know I will have a smile and kind words, a place to sit and I will have something to eat. No matter how tough it gets."

     USO lounges can be found in nearly every airport across the nation. All servicemembers are encouraged to visit these facilities. According to Douglas Warnecke, executive director for USO of Indiana, "the more troops that use the USO enable us to efficiently use our resources and help us make the case for donations." Be sure to take the time to locate the USO lounge during your travels and sign-in. Even though you may not be the one needing to use that facility, somewhere a servicemember is in need and you are helping ensure the stability of each lounge you visit. Remember, you don't have to be traveling in a military status to enjoy the facilities. You are entitled to the comforts of the USO because you are a current, retired or former member of the United States military.