USO opens new Guard lounge
Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, Military District of Washington commander, along with Miss Virginia 2010 Caitlin Uze, Elaine B. Rogers, president of the USO Metropolitan Washington area, Richard Lombardo, president and CEO of Harkins Builders and John Marselle, USO Metro-politan Board chairman, cut the ribbon during the ceremony for the new Honor Guard Lounge located in the Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Community Center.

Let the game-playing, movie-watching and Internet-surfing commence. The ribbon has been cut, and the new Honor Guard Lounge is now officially open in the community center.

Crystal Benton, communications manager for the USO at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, said the Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeUSO centers offer complimentary programs and services, featuring cable TV, WiFi, snack bars, video gaming, computer labs, phone services, DVD libraries and reading materials.Aca,!A?

This lounge is no exception as it offers such entertainment as a 72-inch 3D and HD TV with two rows of stadium seating to enhance movie viewing comfort, a 52-inch plasma TV complete with Wii and Xbox 360 as well as an extensive library of the most recent games and four gaming chairs to maximize game play, a reading library, snacks and computer stations with Internet and printing capabilities.

As highly celebrated members of the National Capital Region and namesakes of the new lounge, personnel from Honor Guards were praised and thanked for their service.

Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeThe young men and women who are a part of the honor guards have a very special covenant with the American people, and they represent all of us in uniform whenever they go into the cemetery,Aca,!A? said Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, Military District of Washington commander.

Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeI think it should be a place for them to relax, unwind, reflect on what they do and prepare to go back into the cemetery and pay that wholesome respect for their fallen comrades,Aca,!A? Horst said.

The Joint Base commander said honor guards have one of the most noble jobs the services can offer.

Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeBurying our heroes is the most important thing that our honor guards do,Aca,!A? said Col. Carl R. Coffman, JBM-HH commander.

Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeIt could be 105 degrees and they are in their whole uniforms dutifully standing their post, never complaining,Aca,!A? Coffman said.

Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeThese guys are truly the standard.Aca,!A?

Following the ceremony and ribbon cutting those who attended had the chance to relax, eat snacks and get a feel for the new lounge.

Staff Sgt. Kyle Wheeler of the Air Force Honor Guard was taking advantage of the table seating area with fellow Air Force Honor Guard buddies, eating and chatting.

Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeItAca,!a,,cs great, a big improvement from the previous center,Aca,!A? Wheeler said.

Lt. Patton Epperson of the Coast Guard Honor Guard mentioned how many ceremonies they conduct daily. And sometimes with nothing to do in between details.

Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeWe do a lot of funerals at Arlington and donAca,!a,,ct really have a place to go in between,Aca,!A? Epperson said. Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeItAca,!a,,cs going to be very helpful and often visited.Aca,!A?

When asked about how he felt about the outcome of the lounge, Michael Singer, USO chairman emeritus, board of directors said, Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeThis gives them a place to come and prepare themselves again for a really difficult tough duty.Aca,!A?

The notion that the lounge is going to be used for relaxation is true; however, it can also be used for other activities.

Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeI know a lot of Airmen are taking classes online, and it helps between ceremonies to catch up on homework,Aca,!A? said Staff Sgt. Christopher Cenatiempo, a member of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard.

Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeItAca,!a,,cs definitely beneficial for education as well.Aca,!A?

While touring the new lounge John Marselle, USO-Metro board chairman said, Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeWeAca,!a,,cre just trying to bring the passion that the American public would like to say thank you to all of our troops,Aca,!A? a reminder that the USO is fueled by volunteers that give their time to help bring a home away from home to the troops wherever they may be.

Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeThis lounge will be a real asset,Aca,!A? said Lt. Col. Raymond Powell, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard.

He also added that with the personnel being out in the extreme heat and cold, the lounge will truly be appreciated.

Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeThey really need a place where they can regulate their body temperature, where they can recover from whatever they just came off of, so they can be at their best for the next one,Aca,!A? Powell said.

Benton said, there are Aca,!EoeAca,!EoeCurrently more than 145 USO centers worldwide, including 12 mobile canteens,Aca,!A? all of which work together to serve 7.7 million military members and their Families in 2009.

This lounge will provide all the services that the servicemembers need, from playing video games, to napping, snacking, watching movies and enjoying the Internet when they need a Aca,!EoeAca,!Eoehome away from home.Aca,!A?

Page last updated Thu September 16th, 2010 at 11:06