WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2006 – The newest United Service Organizations center will open its doors this week at Fort Bliss, Texas, to serve the post's 36,000-member military population. “The USO is proud to be expanding operations in Texas, offering a 'home away from home' to our men and women in uniform and their families," said Edward A. Powell, USO president and chief executive officer.
The opening ceremony is scheduled for tomorrow, with members of the El Paso congressional and local delegations. "The USO is a tireless advocate for our servicemembers and military families, and I have been proud to partner with them throughout my tenure in Congress," said U.S. Representative Silvestre Reyes, who urged the USO to establish the Fort Bliss center.
"The USO quite obviously created it with sensitivity to the needs of our soldiers," Reyes said. "As a former soldier myself, I can't emphasize enough the importance of USO programs and can certainly tell you that this center is a welcome addition to Fort Bliss." USO El Paso will provide free Internet and e-mail access, lounge areas, entertainment and recreational events, and will implement USO programs. The 4,000-square-foot facility is located centrally on Fort Bliss, within walking distance of several large barracks.
Several corporate donors helped fund the new center, including FirstLight Federal Credit Union, Time Warner Cable, Cingular, Perspectiva, Home Depot and U.S. Foodservice. The USO operates 125 centers around the world, providing programs and services to servicemen and women and their families. USO centers offer free e-mail and Internet access, prepaid international phone cards, entertainment and lounge areas, libraries and travel assistance.
The USO has been providing morale, welfare and recreational services to U.S. troops and their families for more than 65 years.