USO returns to Salt Lake City with a permanent home

Jan 8, 2022, 7:03 AM | Updated: Jan 9, 2022, 6:31 am

SALT LAKE CITY — After a long absence, the United Service Organizations (USO) have a place to call their own in Utah.

The new USO Airport Center at Salt Lake City International is the organization’s first permanent home in the state since World War II. It’ll provide support programs to 32,480 active duty and reserve members of the Armed Forces stationed across 84,899 square miles.

“The USO goes where our troops go and we’re proud to support our military service members and families serving, training, and traveling through Utah,” said Bob Kurkjian, USO West president. “We are extremely grateful for our partnership with the Salt Lake City International Airport, as well as our partners Northrop Grumman, Delta Airlines, Adobe and the Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs, for helping the USO keep our troops connected to family, home and country with this new airport center.”

A soft opening was held Dec. 20 with an official grand opening set for Feb. 4. The headquarters, a 933 square foot center, provides amenities and outreach programs to current military members and dependent family members. Besides computers; a lounge area with games, movies and television; luggage storage; and W-Fi access; USO Utah will provide complimentary beverages and snacks to members.

“We welcome the USO to SLC International Airport,” said Bill Wyatt, executive director, Salt Lake City Department of Airports. “The larger airport has allowed us to provide an exceptional location and space for our military men and women. We hope military members connecting through SLC find rest and relaxation here and that it makes their travels more enjoyable.”

Utah native Nate Vandenberg is the Operations & Programs Manager of USO Utah .

“As a veteran of the United States Navy and the Utah Air National Guard, I am looking forward to being a Force Behind the Forces in this new role,” Vandenberg said. “I’m excited to share a little bit of Utah with each visitor to the new USO Center in the Salt Lake International Airport and during various in-person programs that will be facilitated with the local military community.”

In addition to the airport center, USO Utah provides programs and support operations to the five military bases in the state. Emotional wellness, holiday programs and the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program are among the various offerings.

The USO is a non-profit organization that has supported the military. The group has more than 30,000 volunteers across the country.

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USO returns to Salt Lake City with a permanent home