DENVER — When you think about the USO, you may think about Bob Hope or Ann Margaret, or you may not even know what the USO is. But millions of service members do, and if anybody can claim they are serving those who serve, it’s the USO.
The USO, or United Service Organizations, is an outfit with a very important mission.
“Our mission is to strengthen America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country throughout their service to the nation,” said Skip Vanderbach the director of the USO at Denver International Airport.
The USO was created in 1941 at the request of Congress. World War II ended, but the USO continued to grow. Seventy-eight years later, the USO plays a vital role in the well being of current duty military, the National Guard and reserves.
The USO at DIA welcomes about 360 visitors daily.
“They’re convenient, they’re comfortable. You can relax. Free WiFi, food. It’s just a place you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the airport,” said Tech. Sgt. Taiesha Jackson, U.S. Air Force.
“I’ve deployed three times. I’ve worked bombers, fighters, so every base is a new adventure,” said Jackson. She’s celebrating 15 years in the Air Force with a trip to Australia, and is relaxing at the DIA USO before her long flight.
Located in Concourse A, the DIA USO has been there since 2005.
The USO is a non-profit organization and not a government agency.
“It’s disappointing when there is not one in an airport,” said Jackson.
Military missions come and go, but for the 4.9 million active duty, guard and reserves, the USO’s mission never ends.