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Announcement made on the 73rd Birthday of the USO
ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, on the 73rd birthday of the USO, the USO of Metropolitan Washington announced it is adding Baltimore to its name to reflect its strong presence throughout Maryland, including the greater metropolitan Baltimore region. USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore's (USO-Metro) geographic service area includes Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland. USO-Metro is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization and receives no funding from the federal government, relying instead on the generosity of the local public and business communities to support its many programs and services. USO-Metro has been supporting the needs of local active duty military and their families who work, live and travel within the region and is the largest chapter among USO's 160 locations around the globe.
USO-Metro continues to grow and expand its presence in Maryland to meet the ever increasing needs of the area's active duty military population. In 1990, USO-Metro opened the USO Airport Lounge at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, providing services to tens of thousands of traveling troops and their families each year. In 1991, USO-Metro established a center at the Naval Support Facility Indian Head to provide morale-boosting programs and events to meet the critical needs of military members and their families serving on the remote installation. In 2007, USO-Metro opened a USO Center on Fort George G. Meade, the largest military installation in Maryland. The Fort Meade USO Center was moved into a larger, more centrally-located building on the installation in January 2013 and today serves an average of 5,000 military guests per month.
"Those who know us in Maryland understand and appreciate the services and programs we provide to our troops and their families, our wounded, ill and injured and their caregivers," said Elaine Rogers, CEO and president of the USO-Metro. "We believe this name change will help us educate and better inform Marylanders who want to provide support to their local troops and their families of our presence throughout the Baltimore region."
For 73 years, the USO has been lifting the spirits of America's troops and their families by providing services that meet their growing and changing needs. These needs have been especially acute after more than 13 years of war. Fortunately, each month more troops return home from combat and begin the readjustment process of being home; however, it is important to understand that the challenges of military life do not end when deployment does. From training and constant preparation to reintegration and rehabilitation, service members and their families continue to make sacrifices large and small. For this reason, USO-Metro is committed to helping America's troops and their families throughout their years of service - making every moment count - whether they are deployed or returning home.
Volunteers are the backbone and heart of USO. Here in the metropolitan Washington-Baltimore region, USO-Metro is proud to have nearly 5,000 volunteers available to serve at five (soon to be six) USO Centers, four USO Airport Lounges and through its "deployable USO," a mobile USO vehicle which, to date, has logged nearly 30,000 miles.
On April 1, 2014, the USO will open the second largest USO Center, the Warrior and Family Center, located on the campus of Naval Support Activity Bethesda, home of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda has been specifically designed to promote a community of care and provide resources, programs and support for the nation's wounded, ill and injured service members and their caregivers as they prepare to return to active duty or transition to the next phase of life.
More than 70,000 military members and their families are serving throughout the Baltimore region and tens of thousands travel through BWI's USO airport lounge each year. It is because of the strong support of local companies and individuals that USO-Metro is able to provide programs and services that boost their morale and meet their unique needs. In addition to providing signature USO-Metro programs such as Your USO Meal (YUM), Supermarket Sweeps, Operation Back to School, Operation Boot Camp, Project USO Elf and Turkeys for Troops, USO-Metro provides critical services including emergency housing and food services.
About USO-Metro: USO-Metro is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization chartered by Congress, and dedicated to "Serving those who serve, and their families" in the Washington-Baltimore region. It is through the generous financial support of individuals and organizations in the local community that USO-Metro is able to fulfill its mission. With the help of nearly 5,000 devoted volunteers, USO-Metro provides programs and services for active duty troops and their families at area military hospitals; through its Mobile USO program; at five USO Centers, and four USO airport lounges. For more information please visit www.USOMetro.org or "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter by searching USOMetroDC.
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