LIBERTY USO LOUNGE CELEBRATES ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY
PHILADELPHIA — April 30, 2019 — On Tuesday, April 23, the United Service Organization (USO) of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, Liberty USO, and the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), celebrated the one-year anniversary of the USO Lounge, located in Terminal E, near Gate E2. The anniversary event commemorated a successful first year, honored military members in attendance, and acknowledged the amazing volunteers who make the lounge possible.
In March 2017, the USO Center located in Terminal A-East experienced devastating floods. Thirteen months later, on April 25, 2018, with the help of Liberty USO, Philadelphia International Airport, the Department of Aviation, the Philadelphia Marketplace restaurants and vendors, and many volunteers, a new facility was opened.
Philadelphia Marketplace merchants, many of which stepped up during the transition of lounge relocation and generously donated meals and services to military personnel and their families, provided the food and beverage for the celebration.
Another significant moment of the celebration was the presentation of artwork by Lothar Budike. Lou has spent years painting portraits to commemorate his days serving in the United States military, and he donated several pieces of his art to the USO Lounge in honor of the anniversary. His organization, the Naval Veterans Institute USA, Inc., sells artwork and the profits go toward providing medical and educational assistance to Vets.
“The USO Lounge is a wonderful resource that provides service members their own space to relax and decompress during their travels,” said Mel Hannah, Vice President and General Manager of Philadelphia Marketplace. “There is even an opportunity for visitors to enjoy a home-cooked meal.”
The USO Lounge offers expanded space and enhanced amenities. The 4,600-square-foot lounge has a full restaurant-style kitchen, men’s and women’s bunkrooms, a family playroom, a theater-style seating area, showers and more. The lounge, which is open to all active-duty service members, reservists, National Guard, dependent family members, and retirees, is a wonderful respite for our military members. The lounge is completely staffed by volunteers.