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Airmen, Families Embrace Opening of New USO Travis

Thursday, August 02, 2012

By Christian Pelusi 

Relocated, renovated and expanded, the USO center at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., takes all the comforts of home that troops and their families enjoy and bring them to their home post.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new USO Travis, which has doubled its footprint (now 2,860 square feet), took place Wednesday and the new center’s closer proximity to the living quarters of airmen and their families is a huge advantage.

“Bringing us here to the center of the Travis community is going to help us provide that much more support to the service members, to the airmen and to their families here in the Travis community,” said USO Senior Vice President of Operations Alan Reyes.

For 60th Air Mobility Wing Commander Col. Dwight D. Sones, the new building is a tactile example of something greater that’s been nurtured for years.

“More importantly than a brick-and-mortar structure that we have here today, [are] the relationships that we’ve built where the folks surrounding Travis Air Force Base and those on Travis Air Force Base are looking to take care for those airmen and their families,” he said.

USO Travis was first established in May 1984 and the new location and facelift is already being well-received by the post’s population of over 10,000 servicemen and women and over 9,000 family members as dozens of airmen and their families filed into the new facility to sample the tasty treats and try out the equipment.

The new USO Travis contains the customary collection of services like WiFi Internet connectivity, laptops, gaming systems, phones, ping pong and billiards plus televisions, snacks and drinks to make for a prime gathering spot. There are also signature USO programs like United Through Reading® Military Program, which allows troops to record themselves as they read books to their family members. (Learn more.)

For Col. Sones, the ceremony afforded him the chance to reiterate the important place that the USO has in the hearts and minds of the nation’s military and its families.

“I will tell you, amongst military members there are few symbols that we all recognize universally ... the USO is such a symbol,” he said. "Whether you be at Travis Air Force Base, whether you be at Dover Air Force Base or whether you be overseas, know there are folks there that love you and care for you as military members and military families. That’s what we have here in our USO team, not just at Travis but throughout the world.”

(Photo credit: Colin M. Day / USO) 

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