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Temporary USO Center Opens At RDU For The Holidays

Members of the military and their families who are traveling through Raleigh-Durham International (RDU) will have their own place to relax.

A temporary USO Center will be in the ticketing lobby of the airport’s newest terminal, Terminal 2, through Jan. 6. The USO Center was underwritten by Archer Western Contractors, which is the general contractor for the terminal’s construction project.

 “During the holiday season, the number of military men and women and their families traveling through RDU nearly triples compared to other times of the year,” says Michael Langley, director of the USO at RDU. “Often, military members arrive at RDU hours before their scheduled departure because they take buses from their military bases to the airport. Thanks to RDU and Archer Western’s generosity, those traveling through Terminal 2 during the holidays will have a place to relax before their flight departs.”

Similar to the USO center in Terminal 1, the second location will have big-screen televisions, computers, a children’s play area and a small dining area.

 “After helping soldiers in Terminal 2 locate the USO in Terminal 1, we realized that there was a need for a center in the new terminal for those traveling during the holidays,” said Randy Grubb, senior manager at Archer Western Contractors. “When the USO indicated that they could use a temporary facility, we began working with the airport authority and leasing the furniture and equipment needed to furnish it. This is just one way we can thank our troops and give back to our community.”

When the terminal is completed in early 2011, there will be a permanent 3,200 sq. ft. USO Center – twice the size of the Terminal 1 location. The first location was opened in August 2004 by the airport, in partnership with USO North Carolina. It has served more than 125,000 military personnel and their families.

In other RDU news…

As part of the growing social media phenomenon, the airport has officially launched a Twitter page, twitter.com/RDUairport.

Customers and the public can use the page to sign up to learn about airport projects, new air service announcements, special promotions, the impact of inclement weather on flights and more. Followers will receive “tweets” each week.

 “We understand that our customers are receiving their information in many ways,” says Teresa Damiano, RDU’s director of marketing. “By using Twitter, we can quickly communicate important and timely information to our passengers and those interested in what is happening at RDU.”

Arriving in time for the holidays, the page will give travelers travel tips and information on special holiday events, as well as what to expect when they arrive at the airport.