JFK Airport Chamber of Commerce attends
grand opening of USO at Terminal 5 today
Tom Kelliher presents membership plaque to USO at the grand opening
JetBlue Donates Airport Center to USO
USO Center T5/JFK Marks First Airport Center in New York in Nearly a Decade
NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – September 17, 2014) – JetBlue Airways (JBLU) and the USO today announced the opening of the USO Center T5/JFK. The thousands of troops and their families who pass through New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) every year will now have a new place to call home. The fully-stocked center, donated by JetBlue, is located in JFK’s Terminal 5 directly across from baggage carousel number two on the street level in the arrivals area.
“JetBlue and their crewmembers continue to proudly support our men and women in uniform and remain at the forefront of demonstrating America’s gratitude for the service and sacrifices made by our military families,” said Brian Whiting, CEO, USO of Metropolitan New York. “This is one of the single largest gifts to the USO and never in our organization’s 73-year history have we been the recipient of a brand new center fully stocked with computers, televisions, gaming devices/stations, furniture, iPads, food and beverages and much more.”
Due to the support of JetBlue and its crewmembers and partners including global design firm Gensler, Turner Construction Company and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, troops and their families will now have a place to relax before and after flights or during layovers. USO Center T5/JFK will be open seven days a week, 365 days per year with initial hours of operation from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The center is easily accessible from all airport terminals via the JFK AirTrain.
“JetBlue is excited to bring a USO Center back to JFK. We put the call out to our partners and they overwhelming answered. Gensler designed the space, Turner Construction Company built it, and a generous donation from the Port Authority allowed us to provide a fully functioning lounge for the USO and our service people. We are thrilled to share this USO Center with the military community traveling to and from our hometown,” said Dave Barger, CEO, JetBlue Airways. “This is just one example of JetBlue’s support for men and women in uniform. Nearly one thousand of our crew members are veterans and JetBlue also actively supports veterans re-entering the workforce after serving our country.”
JetBlue’s donation to the USO would not have been possible without the unwavering and generous support offered by the leading airport design firm Gensler, Turner Construction Company and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. All four organizations donated their time, professional resources and cash to develop this state-of-the-art facility, which cost in excess of $500,000, ensuring the USO would be free of any financial burden. In addition to the space and services provided, more than 28 contractors and individual donors have contributed 100% of the labor, material and funding needed to construct the facility. All of those that donated time, materials and funding will be honored on a plaque in front of the new USO Center T5/JFK.
“The Port Authority salutes our nation’s military men and women, as well as their families, who make tremendous sacrifices for the freedoms that make America great,” said Port Authority Aviation Director Thomas Bosco. “Although we can never fully repay the debt we owe them, we can at least do our part in ensuring that our soldiers and their families are comfortable when traveling through our airport. As a veteran myself, I am grateful to JetBlue and our partners for their support and for providing our service members with much-deserved resources.”
The USO operates more than 160 locations worldwide with a presence on military installations, in airports, as well as remote forward operating bases in Afghanistan. Last year, USO locations were visited nearly eight million times by troops and their families. While no two USO centers are alike, every USO center provides a home-like environment, the ability to connect with loved ones via internet and phone, refreshments and snacks and most importantly, volunteers and staff who provide a heartfelt and warm welcome.
About the USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families more than 10 million times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors, troops in transition and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.