New USO Opens in Terminal 4
The new USO opened with fanfare in Terminal 4 on Thursday, November 15, 2012, as military leaders and local dignitaries helped mark the occasion with a ribbon cutting.
"We are so proud to have a USO here at Phoenix Sky Harbor and excited that now our troops will have even more space to relax when traveling through America's Friendliest Airport,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.
The facility, which has relocated from Terminal 2, is made possible by USO partners American Airlines, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, and the city of Phoenix Aviation Department.
“This is a great day,” said Dave McIntyre, President and CEO of TriWest Healthcare Alliance. “It is about people who serve our nation and their families. We are here for them, and today, are very proud to be a part of this.”
The new USO, located on the East-End of Level 2 in Sky Harbor’s busiest terminal, is three times larger than the previous USO, making it better equipped to serve troops and their families. It features sofas, chairs, computers, TVs, a café, a quiet room and a children’s area.
“This is a really special place,” said USO Senior Vice President John Hanson. “We are proud of this operation. The USO is trusted by the military and their families. It is a reflection of the community partnership.”
Indeed the partnership is an important component of the program. Michele Henry, General Manager in Phoenix for American Airlines, described the partnership between the USO and American Airlines, which became the USO’s official airline partner in 2010.
“American Airlines is honored to partner with the USO,” Henry said. “We honor those who have sacrificed so much for us.”
Adjutant General Hugo Salazar described the comments he has heard from troops and their families that have visited USOs across the country over the years. The USO provides a friendly place for soldiers to share their experiences with one another and is a comfortable place for family members to go. And, all of this is made possible by the volunteers who have so graciously given their time.
“We can’t thank our sponsors and volunteers enough,” said Mike Thornton, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. “The USO has always been there and has opened its arms to the great nation of America. The troops are our American comrades who believe in this country and we thank them and their families and children for their sacrifices.”
The ribbon was cut and those in attendance were able to get a glimpse into all this new center has to offer.
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Published: November 15, 2012