02:52 AM

New USO Center At DFW International Airport Officially Opens On Memorial Day

U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison Delivers Keynote Speech

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Texas / WASHINGTON (May 31, 2004) – Cutting the grand opening ribbon to the patriotic singing of "God Bless America," the USO and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport opened a new USO center today. The 2,900 square-foot facility, located in Terminal B, was formerly the President's Club for Continental Airlines. The Airport and USO selected Memorial Day as a fitting time to dedicate the newest USO lounge at a major U.S. airport and hosted a Texas-style barbeque to celebrate.

The opening of the new center brings the number of USO centers to 122 worldwide.

The DFW center is essential at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport because it is one of only three stateside airports serving as a transfer point for Rest and Recuperation (R&R) flights. During R&R flights from November 2003 to January 2004, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport donated more than $300,000 in fees and services and assisted more than 12,000 troops. The new center also will provide soldiers and their families access to a variety of airport conveniences to make their travel efficient and comfortable. Aid from Dallas/Fort Worth's Interfaith Chaplaincy, Traveler's Aid and the Airport Ambassadors will be centralized at the new USO center as well. 

"The timing of this newly refurbished center could not be better with the R&R flights resuming in mid-June. The USO will be there to support service men and women returning from Southwest Asia, along with all other members of our armed forces and their families who are traveling worldwide," said Edward A. Powell, president and CEO of USO World Headquarters. "The USO is proud to team with Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Memorial Day to dedicate the new center and say ‘thank you’ on this special day set aside to honor our service members who make the greatest sacrifice to serve our nation during both peace and war." 

The USO provided financial support, staffing and furnishings while the Airport contributed more than $80,000 in construction costs to renovate the lounge. Amenities include free wireless Internet access and a highspeed wireless network to surf the web. “We are presently asking so much of our men and women in uniform serving in the war on terror. The new USO lounge at DFW Airport will help ease their journeys across the globe to their next duty station. While we can never fully repay their service, this is an important token of our appreciation,” said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. 

The lounge also features a fully stocked kitchen, pantry, café area, game/movie room, large screen televisions, children’s play area and a sleeping room with recliners. The new center director, Patrick Little, stated, “This is a world-class USO airport facility. I look forward to serving our men and women in uniform and their families, and working with the great people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.” 

"Our Airport community deems it a great honor and privilege to assist our troops and their families as they continue to make major sacrifices for our country and our freedom," said Max Wells, DFW Airport Board Chairman. "Our Airport volunteers and staff have worked tirelessly to make travel as comfortable and convenient as possible, and the new USO center will indeed be a great asset for all. We are proud the USO now has a home here." 

"As the third busiest Airport in the world, DFW is always striving to deliver a customer experience that is indeed world class," said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW. "These very special passengers and their loved ones will now get even better service as a result of the USO center. It is truly a proud day for our Airport." 

About the USO

For 63 years, the USO (United Service Organizations) has brought a touch of home to America's military personnel. The USO is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit organization and is not a government agency. The USO is supported by World Partners Amazon.com, Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, BAE SYSTEMS, Bass Pro Shops, Clear Channel Worldwide, Coca-Cola, ESPN, Lockheed Martin, Lowe's, Morgan Stanley, Northwest Airlines, Ray-Ban, Sara Lee, S & K Sales Company,TRUEBeginnings.com, Ty Inc., USAA Foundation and The Walt Disney Company. Other corporate donors, including Walgreens and the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-0600), have joined thousands of individual donors to support the USO. For more information on the USO, please visit our Web site at www.uso.org

Located halfway between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, DFW International Airport is the world’s third busiest, serving 57 million passengers a year. Offering nearly 2,000 flights daily, DFW Airport provides nonstop service to 136 domestic and 31 international destinations worldwide. For the latest news, real-time flight information, parking availability or further details regarding the many services provided at DFW International Airport, log on to www.dfwairport.com.

To arrange interviews contact DFW Public Affairs at 972 574 NEWS (6397) or Ken Capps, Vice President Public Affairs, kcapps@dfwairport.com.