Expanded USO DCA Lounge Celebrates Ribbon Cutting
The Harkins team attended the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new and improved USO Reagan Lounge on Tuesday, February 4th. Held in historic terminal A at the Ronald Reagan Airport in Arlington, VA, guests celebrated the relocation of the original space to the new 1,600 sf space that will be used by over 300,000 servicemen and women throughout the year. This expansion nearly doubled the size of the previous lounge.
The USO’s mission is to strengthen America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home, and country, throughout their service to the nation. To aid in these efforts, the USO offers the use of lounges in several US airports to active members of the military for no charge. Each lounge varies, but visitors can generally find comfortable seating, reading material, high definition TV, a fully stocked snack bar, and Wi-Fi to enjoy. Additionally, the lounge hosts a variety of special events such as welcoming incoming Marine Corps officer candidates, families of the fallen, and snowball express (an airport-wide holiday event for military kids).
Harkins has a long history with the USO, dating back to over 30 years. J.P. Blase Cooke, Harkins’ former president & CEO, served as an Army policeman in Ft. Dix, NJ where he met his wife at a USO dance. Known for his devotion to giving back to the community, it was no surprise that he would want to make a lasting contribution through his deep involvement on their board. Since his passing in 2007, Harkins has remained involved with the USO of Metro Washington-Baltimore. Vice President of Construction Ben Nichols in our Government Group serves on the board of directors.
“As a 22-year-old Marine Corps platoon commander in charge of 44 Marines, the USO and its volunteers met my platoon on the runway on our way to Afghanistan, supported us through deployment by sending care packages, and were the first ones to greet us when we arrived back in the United States”, said Ben. “I’m personally grateful for the USO’s support and thankful for the many opportunities to give back.”