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Service personnel can kick back at Sky Harbor USO

PHOENIX — Members of the military who have a long layover at Sky Harbor Airport now have a place to relax while they wait.

The new United Services Organization center in Terminal 4 features cushy chairs and couches, flat-screen TVs, video games, movies, a children’s area and more.

“It provides a place for them to sit down and relax, and computers where military members and their families can check their email,” said Sky Harbor spokeswoman Julie Rodriguez.

“It also has snacks, little toiletries that they may need, like little bottles of lotion and things, and just a place that they can come and unwind if they have a long layover.”

The center had been located in Terminal 2 for a number of years. Rodriguez said it was moved because 80 percent of the airport’s passengers go through Terminal 4.

Loretta Nielson of Gold Canyon accompanied her military son to the USO center. She said it provides a way for soldiers from out of town to get in touch with their families.

“I can Skype you, I can email you, I can talk to you,” said Nielson. “I’m in a secure environment, a nice clean, wonderful environment where people are happy and people care about you here.”

“This is a new world,” Nielson said. “There are like, video games and computers here. That’s how I can connect.”

The center was made possible by donations from American Airlines and Tri-West.