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Taylorsville teenager helped initiate USO Lounge coming to SLC airport

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — You’ve seen them at other airports, and lthough Salt Lake City’s isn’t running yet, a military USO lounge is expected to open at the new airport.

“Having this facility is really kind of a capstone, if you will,” said Bill Wyatt.

Wyatt is the director of the Salt Lake City International Airport and is excited about the lounge. A USO lounge is like any other airport lounge, except it’s only for military members and their families.

“Veterans and service members are really a significant part of the traveling public,” said Wyatt.

Since Salt Lake continues to build out its new airport, administrators figured they had the space to put one in, joining the 40 other U.S. airports that have a USO lounge.

According to the USO, there are 30,000+ military members in Utah, which made Salt Lake City a great place to open a lounge.

But nobody might’ve been more excited about the announcement of one coming to the airport than Alvin Chung. Three years ago, Chung was a JROTC member at Taylorsville High School and started a project of writing letters and doing petition drives to try and get a USO lounge.

“We have a brand-new airport coming in here and there’s plenty of space to throw a USO in for all the veterans traveling through,” said Chung. “Why don’t we do it?”

Although he never heard back from state leaders, he’s now wondering if his little project maybe helped raise the initial awareness to get things going.

It’s some his former JROTC instructor is proud of him for and uses as an example for his current students.

“We talk to the students now and they don’t understand because it’s like, you have a voice and you can use that voice and affect change,” said SFC. Konrad Wilson. “You can do big things.”

Chung decided to not pursue a military career after high school. However, he says the lessons he learned will last him a lifetime.

“Although I wasn’t able to follow through and finish out, it just sparked an idea and put it out there,” he said.

If all goes as expected, his little idea will become reality late in fall 2021.

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