In 2015, O’Hare airport was the fourth busiest airport in the world. It’s not a fun place to fly out of at any time, but imagine if you are coming from a military base halfway around the world, have been traveling for 36 to 48 hours, have already been bumped from your first flight and have finally made it to the US. You cell phone is dead, you’ve missed your connection, you are exhausted and you have little or no American money. How grateful are you for the USO?
For nearly a decade, BUMC members have assisted service men and women passing through the two USO centers at O’Hare airport. Our members have had the satisfaction of serving those who serve in our all-volunteer military around the world. We’ve welcomed them back to the states with coffee and pancakes, Pepsi and ham sandwiches or Gatorade and peanut butter, if that’s what they were hungry for. We’ve provided playrooms for their children (the ones who’ve been on planes for hours) and we’ve help ed them call their parents. We’ve provided razors and toiletries and Bibles. We’ve logged them onto the internet or put in a movie for them to watch until they can sleep in the over-stuffed recliners that have been donated for the purpose.
A team of about 15 members of BUMC currently works between both O’Hare centers. A half dozen people have made the effort to get security clearance and badges to work every Wednesday from 2 to 6pm inside terminal 3. An additional group of folks have been trained and volunteer every fourth Sunday for one of the two shifts that BUMC covers: 9am to 3pm or 3pm to 9pm. We need more volunteers. If you have a heart to serve, please contact Jim Finn. For more information on the USO, visit the United Services Organization website.