USO makes holiday travel more comfy for troops - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

USO makes holiday travel more comfy for troops

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Over the next few days, thousands of service members are expected to fly out of Gulfport Biloxi International Airport to spend Christmas with family and friends. The USO is trying to make their holiday travel experience much more comfortable.

For some airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines, visits with family are few and far between.

"It's just nice to be able to go home and be able to see family and friends after you've been away from them so long," said airman Jeff McFarland. 

To make time spent waiting for flights home more comfortable for military members, the USO offers television, video games, magazines, and Wi-Fi access as well as drinks and snacks.

"It's much nicer than just sitting out in the terminal, the concord. It's more than I expected," said McFarland. "It's very nice relaxing environment. So you can come back, relax, and wait for your flight."

The USO director said the staff and volunteers really enjoy the opportunity to share in service members' Christmastime excitement.

"It's such a special time for us because for some of these guys they may be getting ready for a process for deployment," Director Felice Kelly-Gillum said. "This is the last time that they'll see their family before they go off to deploy."

"So for the USO to be that home away from home right before deployment. Or for some that are just getting home from a deployment and this is their first time seeing their family since they've been gone is just priceless for us."

Some service members said they like getting to interact with others who serve.

"In the end, we're all one team, one fight. We're all doing the same thing," said McFarland. "So the fact that it's a place for all of us to come is very important to me because not only does it bring us together, but it gives us something to look to and know that people out there do care."

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Why we issue Alert Days

    Why we issue Alert Days

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 1:19 AM EDT2017-05-23 05:19:37 GMT
    Rain on Tuesday morning (5/23/17)Rain on Tuesday morning (5/23/17)

    When the WLOX First Alert Weather Team issues an Alert Day for South Mississippi, it is because we believe the  weather will impact your day. The current Alert Day is because of the high rainfall totals we have seen with the potential for more rain. In fact, a Flash Flood Watch is in effect through Tuesday evening.

    More >>

    When the WLOX First Alert Weather Team issues an Alert Day for South Mississippi, it is because we believe the  weather will impact your day. The current Alert Day is because of the high rainfall totals we have seen with the potential for more rain. In fact, a Flash Flood Watch is in effect through Tuesday evening.

    More >>
  • Cloe's Story: 'I was tired of being miserable. I didn't feel comfortable as a boy'

    Cloe's Story: 'I was tired of being miserable. I didn't feel comfortable as a boy'

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 12:20 AM EDT2017-05-23 04:20:06 GMT

    With her mom's support, Cloe, who was born Sidney, began her outward transition to become female. She made the decision her junior year in high school, and did it rather quickly.

    More >>

    With her mom's support, Cloe, who was born Sidney, began her outward transition to become female. She made the decision her junior year in high school, and did it rather quickly.

    More >>
  • Family of fallen service members invited to dedication of Gold Star Marker

    Family of fallen service members invited to dedication of Gold Star Marker

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 12:19 AM EDT2017-05-23 04:19:15 GMT
    Members of the Ocean Springs Garden Club standing next to the newly installed Gold Star Marker. (Photo source: Ocean Springs Garden Club)Members of the Ocean Springs Garden Club standing next to the newly installed Gold Star Marker. (Photo source: Ocean Springs Garden Club)

    If you have a family member who has died in service to our country you're invited to attend the dedication of the newly installed Gold Star Marker at the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs. 

    More >>

    If you have a family member who has died in service to our country you're invited to attend the dedication of the newly installed Gold Star Marker at the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly