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Old 07-30-2015, 11:43 AM
Location: The South
4,526 posts, read 3,164,555 times
Reputation: 6570


I served three years back in the 1950's and I wouldn't dream of going into a USO and taking up space and resources needed for the guys who are active duty.
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:50 PM
Location: Prince William County, VA
659 posts, read 1,569,709 times
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Originally Posted by MPRetired View Post
That is very interesting. In the past three years, I've used the USO facilities in Denver, San Francisco, Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Charlotte, Dallas, Honolulu and Fayetteville, and have never been turned away or even had it hinted to me that I was being allowed in against the rules. I think the busiest center I've seen was Atlanta around the holiday season and while very busy, there were several retirees sitting quietly waiting for their flights. Most of the centers seem to be staffed by retirees so maybe they are enforcing the rules as they see fit?
I am the wife of a retiree and I have also been to several USOs (without my spouse) when I was traveling. In the last year, I visited the USOs at Chicago Midway Airport, Washington DC (Dulles), Boston Logan, and LAX. And every time, it was mostly (if not exclusively) retirees and their families in the lounge. I don't think there was a single AD member.
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Old 08-12-2015, 04:34 PM
2,379 posts, read 4,282,348 times
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I've never tired to gain access to the USO as a vet myself or as the wife of a retired vet .

Fwiw, not every "USO" is in fact USO. I have heard people refer to the Armed Forces Service Center in the Minneapolis airport as a USO when it is actually a separate organization not affiliated with USO. I wonder if some of the USOs people have visited as vets are also other organizations
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:15 PM
7,843 posts, read 11,137,853 times
Reputation: 10079
Originally Posted by Zelpha View Post
I understand OP's perspective as well as the other perspective. OP did put in his time with the military, and he does donate to the USO. So I empathize with his disappointment at not being allowed to enjoy the USO inbetween his airport duties. The USO is a comfortable haven.

Hey, why can't such lounges be made for everyone to enjoy? It's only humane. As airports are now, they are definitely not very comfortable for weary travelers.imagine if not only military personnel had their USO, then there could also be civilian havens. Civilians need respite during travel just as much as military people do!

My family & I had to sleep in an airport one night while traveling (on military orders!) from Germany to North Dakota. Oh, a USO would have been nice that night but there was none at that airport.

Absolutely civilians need a lounge with bed & showers too. Why don't airports have this? It's only humane.
This is off topic but there are some airports with showers anyway. Frankfort used to have them as well as the one in Ireland that we traveled through on our way to the mid-east via charter military travel, and the one in....Gandor? New Foundland? I think I also showered in one on the way home from the mid-east in one of the mediterranean airports, not a big city, can't remember. If there was a shower available I took one! Hated those 24 to 48 hour flights arriving all grubby with more land travel to go.
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Old 07-03-2018, 02:33 PM
2 posts, read 934 times
Reputation: 20
Stopped in USO at Joint Base Andrews a few days ago. I wanted to get a fresh cup of Joe (named after the SECNAV, ADM Josephus “Joe” Daniels), before my Space-A flight to Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. Although I was not turned away, I knew that my retired status made me not eligible to use the USO. The person working the early morning shift was awesome. The cup of Joe was awesome (KEURIG). I donated $20.00 as I usually do when I get coffee, or snacks from the USO.

I just tried to download the USO App to facilitate rapid sign-in if possible. I am not able to use the App because I am retired. I am sorry about this. I did use the USO while on active duty. I very much valued the assistance from the USO staff while traveling. I always left a donation for their excellent service. I wish there could be a USO/ Armed Forces Service Center for Vets. I will probably raise this issue with my Congressman as soon as I arrive home from Hawaii.

I was turned away from the USO at Hickam AFB. I tried to get a cup of Joe after arriving to help take the edge off of my fatigue. I was told to download the USO Mobile App.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:43 AM
Location: Middletown, DE
131 posts, read 64,590 times
Reputation: 378
I traveled extensively for business after I retired from the Army in '85. Anytime I had an extended wait at an airport I'd search out the USO lounge, if they had one. I won't go so far as to say I've visited all of them, but certainly most. I was never denied access. I just showed my retired ID card, signed in, and relaxed. When my wife and I traveled for pleasure she was also granted access on her dependent ID card. Of course I always left a $10 or $20 donation on the way out, depending on how long I was there and if I ate or drank anything other than a cup of coffee. It's been 6 or 7 years since I've been in an airport for any reason. Maybe policies have changed?
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:56 AM
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,129 posts, read 38,859,608 times
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Who Can Use the USO?

Occasionally, veterans or military retirees contact us to tell us they couldn’t get into a USO airport lounge because they didn’t have an active military ID card. As much as we’d like to open our doors to all those who have honorably served, we have limited space and resources. The USO must focus its mission on serving the needs of those who need us most: active-duty service members and their families. For 77 years, that’s been our mission.

For more information on this policy, or to provide us with feedback on a specific USO center experience, contact us.
This came from the USO Web Site: https://www.uso.org/stories/838-about-our-uso-centers
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:15 PM
Location: Middletown, DE
131 posts, read 64,590 times
Reputation: 378
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post

Interesting. Clearly USO policy on access to their facilities is not uniformly applied.

I read the article you linked to. It's dated Sep '10. I retired from my second career in '05 and my business travel days were over. But my wife and I made two or three flights a year from Denver to Philadelphia for family visits until May or Jun '12. We used the USO lounges at both airports and were always welcomed without question. In fact, there were usually as many, if not more military retirees as active duty there during those visits. And as I said in my prior post, I always left a generous donation worth much more than anything we might have consumed or used while there.

Based on many years of having access to those lounges all over the country it never occurred to me that USO policy excludes military retirees. I'm very disappointed to learn this. They're a private organization and certainly free to run it anyway they want. I have always designated the USO to receive my annual CFC donation. They won't miss it but now that I know, that's changing next time. I'm also making sure that my many military retired friends know that official USO policy, regardless of how it may be applied location by location, excludes them from access to their facilities.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:05 PM
1,405 posts, read 2,147,937 times
Reputation: 1418
The real question is why anyone would want to use the USO when you have far better options if you're military.

Active duty qualifies for a number of credit cards with waived annual fees that will get you into an airline lounge. Some lounges such as American will let you in with just your Mil ID. These lounges are far better than the USO option since they are behind security.

The USO has it's place for junior guys who don't have the resources to get into a lounge. But if you're not 18 and away from home for the first time it's better to go a different route imo.
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Old 07-07-2018, 05:33 AM
10,380 posts, read 7,467,722 times
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Originally Posted by Army_Guy View Post
You should've told them you frequently donate to the USO and pay their salaries and therefore are entitled to be admitted!
No salaries at the airport lounges. All volunteers.

OP why not volunteer to make sandwiches there on your lunch break? Give instead of take.

(I'm a retiree alsoand didn't realize it was for AD only. Makes sense, though.)
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