The Fives: The USO of NC RDU Center

Tomorrow, many will pause to celebrate the birth of our great nation. At RDU, a corps of volunteers will be on duty to serve those who make it possible to enjoy Independence Day each year. In this edition of The Fives, we take you inside The USO of NC RDU Center to show you how more than 2,000 service members are cared for each month as they travel through our airport. 

RDU_0143The USO of NC RDU Center is located in Terminal 2, one floor above the hustle and bustle of the ticketing lobby. To access, look for the USO sign on the wall near Starbucks and the U.S. Airways ticket counter.  The USO is open to any active duty or retired military member, as well as their immediate families. Volunteers staff the center 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

RDU_0154Originally located in Terminal 1, the USO of NC RDU Center moved to Terminal 2 in 2011. The center features a large living room area for relaxation, complete with rows of recliners. There’s also a children’s play area and dining space. Volunteers staff and prepare meals from a large commercial kitchen. Meals for USO visitors are available at no charge. There’s also a large snack bar with refreshments donated by the community that is available for free to those using the USO.

RDU_0170One of the biggest roles for USO volunteers is spending time interacting and talking with the troops and military families. Many are in transit to or leaving from one of our state’s many military bases. Oftentimes, they’re leaving family and friends behind or heading to a duty post far away from home. To help cut down on travel costs for the troops, the USO also works to arrange transportation with travelers through RDU who are heading to areas near the bases.

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The USO in Terminal 2 also features a computer work room, where troops can check e-mail, catch up on social media or video chat with loved ones at home. Volunteers are ready to assist with travel arrangements as well.  On busy days, when large numbers of service members are moving through RDU, volunteers can be found in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 assisting service members as they check-in and make their way to their flights.

boxThis month, you can help support the USO of NC RDU Center by making a purchase and leaving your change.  As you fly through our airport, look for donation boxes in select The Shops of RDU stores and restaurants throughout Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

Your contributions will directly support the USO efforts here at RDU.  To learn more about the USO, including volunteer opportunities, check out the USO page on our website.

Tell me something you’d like to see us highlight in the next edition of The Fives by commenting below.

About Andrew Sawyer

Andrew Sawyer is the External Communication Specialist for the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority and is the main writer for RDU’s website, electronic communication and airport publications. He’s also the primary face behind RDU’s social media channels. Andrew also assists with many other things, from media relations to event planning. In fact, he has an advanced degree in "other duties as assigned."
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