The Houston Airport System (HAS) announces the grand-opening of a new 1,200 square foot, fully furnished, technology infused United Service Organization (USO) facility for retired and active servicemen and women traveling through George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). The $300,000 facility was a top priority for the airport system and comes during the 40th anniversary celebration for IAH. The center has been expanded and relocated to the Mickey Leland International Terminal D, where it is expected to service more than 45,000 troops and their families each year.
“Service is a responsibility you don’t take lightly and it is important we pay tribute and express gratitude to those who have and continue to fight for freedom,” says Eric Potts, interim director of aviation for the city of Houston. “Traveling can be stressful and lonely so it is important to us to make sure our troops are a little more comfortable and we show them they are valued,” adds Potts.
The airport system joined forces with Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale of Gallery Furniture for the top-notch furnishings, which McIngvale is providing as part of an international initiative that began here in Houston. This includes rooms filled with plush new furniture, large screen televisions, DVD players and movies, video gaming stations and theatre seating in the entertainment lounge and gaming rooms along with a full Cyber Café.
“Gallery Furniture is extremely proud to furnish USO Centers throughout the world, but this center is especially close to our heart being right here in our hometown of Houston,” says Jim McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture. He went on to say, “Our Team is working hard to make sure that the USO center at Bush Intercontinental Airport will be a welcoming place for our brave soldiers and show them what Texas hospitality is all about.”
“Our gratitude is best expressed by the smile on the face of every troop and military family member who enters this home away from home,” said USO president Sloan Gibson who attended today’s opening.
The center will also include a quiet room, children’s play room, baggage storage, flight information display monitors with instant arrival and departure information, and a kitchen area – supported by Mr. and Mrs. Norm Phillips- offering visitors hot food, pre-packaged snacks and beverages.