From staff reports
Recovering service members and their families know the value of the USO Warrior and Family Centers.
Now, panels of architects and designers are recognizing it, too.
The two USO Warrior and Family Centers – located on the hospital campuses of Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Naval Support Activity Bethesda, Maryland – have been honored with a total of four design awards since they were built, including two this year.
Last week, the USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda received a Presidential Citation for Design and Wellbeing from the Washington chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
In June, Contract Magazine made the Bethesda center a honorable mention selection in its 2015 Inspiration Awards.
“The jury praised the project’s use of natural materials and connectivity with nature,” according to the magazine’s story on the awards.
In 2013, the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir was honored with a Presidential Citation for Universal Design from AIA’s Washington chapter. The Fort Belvoir facility was also recognized by ABC of Metro Washington and Virginia, receiving the organization’s 2013 Excellence in Construction–Institutional Award for buildings under $10 million.
The Bethesda and Fort Belvoir facilities are ADA-compliant buildings where service members and their families can relax and reconnect away from the grind of hospital appointments and barracks rooms. Both centers provide opportunities for families to come together for everything from meals and game nights to therapeutic art and music classes and post-military career counseling and classes.
More from the USO
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More than 1,500 American troops have lost a limb since 2001, in Afghanistan or Iraq or other deployments around the world. Walter Reed — first at the old campus in Washington, D.C., and now at the new facility in Bethesda — is where they take their first steps toward a new reality.
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Football Legend Joe Theismann Sends Heartfelt Thank You Message to American Troops
We caught up with Washington Redskins legend Joe Theismann at the USO Warrior and Family Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, recently and he had some motivating words for our men and women in uniform.