New Dulles USO Military Lounge to Open Soon

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2006 - United Service Organizations of Metropolitan Washington will get a sizeable boost from Northrop Grumman Corporation tomorrow to help establish its newest military airport lounge, at Washington Dulles International Airport here.

Jerry Agee, the company's corporate vice president, will present a $50,000 check to Elaine B. Rogers, president of the USO of Metropolitan Washington, to begin development of the lounge. Northrop Grumman has committed another $375,000 over a five-year period to support USO's operating budget at Dulles, said Adrienne Trout, vice president of communication and development for USO of Metropolitan Washington.

"USO is very excited," she said. "Northrop Grumman is a great supporter of the USO. This is a terrific way for Grumman to show (its) support of the troops."

Other organizations have also pitched in to help USO make the new facility, located on the arrivals level next to the international arrivals building, a reality.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is renting the space to the USO for $1 a year. URS Corporation, an architectural and engineering firm out of Hunt Valley, Md., is donating design services. Turner Construction Company; Haworth, which deals with office furniture and creating office environments; and Verizon also will donate materials and services.

Verizon also will donate $100,000 a year in support of USO's three lounges at area airports, Trout said. USO operates or will operate military lounges at Dulles, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Trout said USO relies heavily on these types of donations to help them support the troops.

The lounge at Dulles, like other USO airport lounges, will feature office equipment, Internet connections and a snack bar, all offered free of charge, she said. "USO is famous for a cup of coffee and a donut, and we will have that and more," she said.

"All the airport lounges have a similar mission," Trout said. "The USO wants to help military travelers."

One full-time employee and a cadre of volunteers will keep the Dulles lounge humming. The projected hours of operation are 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., seven days a week.

Volunteers, 50 of them at the Dulles location alone, are crucial to USO lounge operation, Trout said. "We could not do what we do without volunteers," she said. "They provide all of the direct services to the guests."

USO also is expanding and relocating its lounge at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Trout said. It's almost tripling its space, to nearly 800 square feet, and moving from the third to first floor of Terminal A.

The same companies supporting the Dulles project also are lending their services and materials to the Reagan project, Trout said.

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