The thousands of troops and military families who pass through Nashville International Airport (BNA) every year now have a new place to call home. Military leaders, the USO, and airport officials cut the ribbon recently on USO Nashville, officially opening the doors to the city’s first-ever USO Center.
The grand opening of the center located at the junction of C and D concourses was marked by a flag ceremony and a performance by the USO Show Troupe. Hundreds of guests, including servicemen and women, council members, state representatives and those who helped make the center possible crowded the ticketing lobby at BNA to help celebrate the occasion.
“USO is all about the little things, little things that often times mean a lot,” said USO President/CEO Sloan Gibson. “Every day inside this center countless little things will make life better for our troops and for their families. Little things will mean the world to a military mom looking for relief while traveling or for a soldier who is far from home for the first time.”
“We are proud of all our armed services members, and the important role their spouses and family members play,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “This is the kind of center they deserve and will add to all the things we do to make the Nashville airport the welcoming place that it is.”
The USO credited the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) and its dedication to better supporting troops and families who pass through BNA with making the center a reality. Other generous supporters include HMSHost, Kroger and Armed Forces Federation Foundation.
“Nashville International Airport is honored to be home to Nashville’s first USO center,” Rob Wigington, president/CEO of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, said. “We hope that our servicemen and women will find this space comfortable, enjoyable and most importantly, relaxing, while traveling to and from Music City. We express our sincere gratitude to members of the military for their dedicated service.”
At 900 square feet, USO Nashville replaces BNA’s smaller military lounge. Now seven days a week, from 8 am until 8 pm, troops and families will have more room to relax and enjoy the snacks, computers, televisions, video games and children’s play area that the center has to offer.
Representing the military community, Command Sergeant Major Mark Herndon, Division and Post Command, Fort Campbell said:
“The USO and Nashville Airport Authority saw a need and worked to a solution. These two organizations identified a lack of support at the airport. They saw where they could fit into that lack of support and the center will open today to bring that to a conclusion.”
BNA is the home of the Tennessee Air National Guard Base at Berry Field, one of the largest Air National Guard facilities in the country and currently serves more than 14,000 military servicemen and women and their families. For photos from the event, please click here.
The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.
The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. All programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.
In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, Clear Channel, The Coca-Cola Company, J.C. Penney, Kangaroo Express, Kroger, Lowe’s, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble, and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, and Microsoft Corporation. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, visit <uso.org>.