When it comes to traveling, the men and woman who serve our country have an option that gives them a chance for a little relaxation before they make their trips home. Military personnel on the Coast will be traveling home by the hundreds this weekend and the United Service Organization (U.S.O.) makes sure those travelers are taken care of. Matt Addezio, a member of the military, says, "I’m coming from Biloxi. I’m stationed down here, heading to Philadelphia to see my family." Addezio is just one of 2,000 military travelers expected to pass through the U.S.O. lounge this weekend at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. Addezio also says, "I've been through the U.S.O. a couple times. Been all over the country and the U.S.O. is great. I love stopping by here." Officials at the U.S.O. office say that because of Keesler Air Force Base and the Navy Seabee Base, they see this influx of traffic every year during the holidays. Felice Kelly Gillum, the U.S.O. Director, says, "Right now we are in the process of our Holiday Exodus, getting ready to see all of the students at Keesler and make sure they get home."
The U.S.O. is run by volunteers who will be working hard this weekend to make sure all the military personnel have a place to rest and something to eat. Robert Kerezsi, a volunteer at the U.S.O., says, "So far, I've just been moving things around getting some snacks ready and have some stuff ready for people to travel with.” Gillum also says, "This center is solely run by volunteers and so they get an opportunity to interact with our guests and make sure they are taken care of with that warm smile and that touch of home." The U.S.O. encourages military personnel to come and get some snacks and relaxation in between flights and they provide all of their services free of charge.