The United Service Organizations (USO) of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey at Philadelphia International Airport opened its new Liberty USO center today in Terminal E. Situated at the top of the terminal, its new location is prominent and highly visible to passengers.
Speakers at the grand opening ribbon-cutting included Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Airport CEO Chellie Cameron, USO od PA And Southern NJ President and CEO Joseph Brooks and USO Vice President of Operations Glenn Welling.
The Liberty USO Center at PHL, relocated from Terminal A-East, is open 24/7/365 to all active duty service members, reservists, National Guard, dependent family members and retirees. Over 90,000 guests are expected to visit this location each year.
They are greeted by 2 sliding glass doors partially frosted with a large USO emblem. The 4,600 square feet center has an open layout with high ceilings and amazing views of the airfield.
The Liberty USO contains new contemporary furnishings in the cafe area, lounges, theater, play room, gaming and computer areas, and office space with charging outlets throughout the cafe. There are two restrooms on site separated by a single shower along with men’s and women’s bunkrooms with a total of 6 bunks that sleep 12. The center can accommodate approximately 85 people at a time.
“We are proud to that the Liberty USO is one of the few airport centers that is located on the secure side and open 24/7”, said Chellie Cameron, Airport CEO. “By having a place just for service members allows them to escape the stress of traveling and to decompress. They can also get a home-cooked meal served by our volunteers at the Liberty USO.”
The center is staffed by 250 volunteers whose responsibilities range from assisting recruits reporting to the United States Coast Guard training center in Cape May NJ to shepherding families through tragedy. Accompanied by a Liberty USO volunteer, family members gather at PHL before going to nearby Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for a dignified transfer of the remains of a fallen family member
Through generous support of the Airport, In kind donations and very careful spending, the 1.4 million dollar project was completed at just 8% of that cost.