USO Receives “Commander’s Coin”
By Pamela Wilson
If you happen to be in the Atrium at Hartsfield-Jackson for any length of time, you’re likely to hear a rousing round of applause and spirited cheering. No, it’s not a celebrity passing through. The cheers are for uniformed service men and women on their way to the war in Iraq; and the cheerleaders are members of the USO, escorting the service members to their flight departure area. This act of encouragement is only one of the many services the Hartsfield-Jackson USO provides to more than 500 military personnel who pass through its doors on an average day. The USO staff provides a relaxing respite, a place for families to say goodbye, communication services, hot meals and more.
Because of their constant devotion to the troops, the Hartsfield-Jackson
USO was awarded a “Commanders Coin” on January 25, 2007. Issuance
of Commander’s coins is part of a longstanding military tradition
to recognize individuals and organizations for acts that contribute to the
mission of a military unit. The USO office has received several Commander’s
coins during its 30-year history at the Airport. The recent coin came from
Colonel Charles Dunn and Command Sergeant Major Samuel Rhodes Sr. of the
3rd Brigade, 47th Infantry Regiment, a basic combat training unit at Fort
Benning in Columbus, Georgia.
“We are very proud of this recognition and proud to be a part of the Airport,” said Mary Louise Austin, president and chief professional officer of the Airport’s USO office. Austin expressed thanks to Fort Benning for the recognition and for their role in the military mission.
Fort Benning is one of the U.S. Army’s primary training areas for combat soldiers and has sent thousands of troops through Hartsfield-Jackson since the Iraq War began in 2003. Many of the troops are new soldiers on their first assignment.
“We help to boost morale and provide services that will help them as they travel to their destination,” Austin said. “The USO is proud to serve those who serve, who protect the freedoms we often take for granted.” For more information visit www.usogeorgia.org.
© 2007 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.