2016 marks a significant milestone for one of the country’s most recognizable and impactful military service groups – the USO.
The United Service Organizations, or USO, is celebrating 75 years of providing comfort to generations of military service members.
The USO’s presence at JAX goes back almost 10 years. Every year, over 35,000 service members and their families can find a comfortable space in the airport while waiting to catch a flight or a ride to a base.
There is a main center that provides a home-like setting with comfortable furniture, a fireplace, TV, computer center, eating area and free snacks. For those needing a place to stretch out for a rest during longer delays, there is a quiet room with full reclining chairs.
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority donated both spaces in baggage claim. A local interior decorator donated her services along with her suppliers and the group, Builders Care, performed the work. Three years ago the Armed Forces Family Foundation donated new floors and appliances.
USO Jacksonville Airport is completely staffed by volunteers and fully supported by donations from the community. Because of their dedication, the JAX center is open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., every day of the year.
All snacks come from the generous citizens of Jacksonville and surrounding area. There are groups and clubs that help our traveling military through fund raising and collecting snacks and drinks to keep the airport’s USO center stocked.
In addition to ensuring the service members and their families have a comfortable place to wait for a flight or the arrival of a loved one, the USO provides families comfort during the homecoming ceremonies for the fallen.
We wish the USO a happy 75th birthday, and many more years of service to come!