WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2003 -- Military, federal, Maryland and United Service Organizations officials gathered at Baltimore/Washington International Airport Sept. 8 to celebrate a state-of-the-art security system at the USO's International Gateway Lounge. The system, donated by Honeywell, includes a video surveillance system as well as automatic door locks and a card-access system at the main entry doors.
"It's important in today's environment to recognize the need for increased force protection," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Terry Scherling, deputy director, anti- terrorism/homeland defense, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who spoke before the ribbon-cutting ceremony. "It's a thrill to be here today," added the general, who said she'd used the services of the USO lounge a couple of years ago while en route to southwest Asia. "The USO is important to service members and their families. When we think of home, it brings us some peace and happiness and hope. When our families know that our service members are remembered and that their efforts are appreciated, it makes our families feel better as well. The USO does that every day."
"Unfortunately, we've all become painfully aware that Americans both at home and abroad are increasingly the targets of those who wish to do harm to our country and its citizens," said U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes. The new security system is a "much-needed improvement" and will help ensure the safety of military and families at their "home away from home here at the USO lounge," he added. "The USO runs a wonderful center here. We're very proud of it."
There was no "greater project" for Honeywell, according to Tom Buckmaster, vice president for communications. "There's nothing more important than supporting the men and women of the armed forces and their families."
(Written by K.L. Vantran, American Forces Press Service, and published by Defense Link.)
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