Service Members and Families Will Soon Enjoy New USO Center at Fort Benning
With over 250 centers world-wide, service members and their families refer to their local USO centers to be their “home away from home,” or “home living room,” turning to the USO first for support and connection to home and to each other throughout the duration of their service.
Fort Benning leaders and USO representatives hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the first day of construction of the USO’s newest center located at Fort Benning, Ga., April 12, 2022.
Major Gen. Patrick J. Donahoe, Maneuver Center of Excellence commanding general officiated the ceremony, was joined by Jim Whaley, USO president, Southeast Region Mary Lou Austin, executive director, USO Georgia, and USO Fort Benning center staff Sarah Bostic and Vanessa Rangel.
“The U.S. Army and the USO have a long-standing partnership in caring for soldiers and families” said Donahoe. “Adding a USO center at the center of main post will physically put people first. It [the USO center] will be a lynchpin of our community at Fort Benning.”
The establishment of the new USO Center on Fort Benning was carefully coordinated between Maneuver Center of Excellence leadership, the USO and the USO Georgia Board to provide programs and services to over 34,704 active duty service members and their families who call Fort Benning home.
The USO serves as a beacon of support for various military installations, to include Fort Benning whose young soldiers receive support from the USO as they make their way to training from the Atlanta Airport each year.
“Every USO that I’ve stopped into at airports, the USO staff and volunteers are always super nice and super supportive, always wanting to be helpful, they [the USO] let you know they care,” said Staff Sgt. Lewis Johnson. “I’m excited that we finally get a USO center here at Fort Benning, a place where I can go to and relax.”
The USO center will undergo construction over the next seven months, and once complete, will serve as a community center where service members and their families can go for special programs, and where troops may spend their off-duty time to email home or to be with friends.
The new center will provide a home away from home, offering a warm, welcoming lounge; internet connectivity for guests; healthy drinks and snacks; and various forms of entertainment such as board games, video games, TV, books, etc. This USO center will also deliver additional programming during special observances and holidays throughout the year.
“The USO is grateful for the tremendous support and coordination we have received from Maneuver Center of Excellence leadership in establishing a USO center at Fort Benning,” said Whaley. “USO centers are the cornerstone of USO service delivery, and we are excited to provide high quality, generationally relevant programs and services to the over 40,000 service members and their families who call Fort Benning home.”
This USO center will also deliver additional programming during special observances and holidays throughout the year, to include a Mobile USO unit that will be stationed at Fort Benning and will travel throughout the state and across the U.S. southeast region providing USO programs and services to service members and their families.
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