Renovated USO Center at Midway International Airport Now Open

January 17, 2024

Revamped Location at Midway Offers Updated Amenities for Service Members and Their Families


The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) joined USO staff and military service members this morning to unveil the upgraded USO Center in Concourse C at Midway International Airport. The completed renovations include fresh furniture, updated flooring, new appliances, and revamped interiors, positioning the Center to serve as a home away from home for traveling service members and their families for decades to come.

"Midway's enhanced USO Center offers our service members and their families an inviting space to relax and recharge, exemplifying Chicago's deep appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform," said Mayor Brandon Johnson. "Cutting the ribbon today on the upgraded USO Center is an important step for our city giving our service people the respect and recognition they deserve."

The USO Midway Center operates daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and provides unique amenities to those who serve, including a stocked kitchenette, a computer, printers, free Wi-Fi access, books, magazines, and a lounge to watch television and movies or play video games. The renovations expand the lounge’s capacity by 30%.

“At Chicago's airports, we are proud to welcome the men and women who serve our country each and every day, and we thank them for their service,” said CDA Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee. “On behalf the Chicago aviation community, I thank the USO and their volunteers for this new investment in support of our service members, and the organization's continued commitment to those who serve and their families.”

“Traveling can be a busy time for many, it is especially so for service members and their families,” said Terry Lemke, Center Operations and Programs Manager, USO, Chicago Metro Area. “The remodeled USO Midway Center is a great place for military passengers to relax, unwind and recharge during their travels, and it also represents the appreciation and gratitude Chicago has for our brave men and women in uniform.”

The USO also operates a second Center in Midway Airport in baggage claim, serving sailors from Naval Station Great Lakes in route to duty assignments around the world. Additionally, the USO operates centers at Terminals 2 and 3 at O’Hare International Airport, serving hundreds of thousands of military travelers annually. The USO operates seven centers in Illinois offering specialized in-person and virtual programs to all active duty, reservists, National Guard, military spouses, and dependent youth. Together, our network of hundreds of Illinois-based volunteers donates nearly 20,000 hours of service annually in service of our brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces.

The USO Midway Center hosted more than 29,000 guests last year. In 2023, the center launched a series of programs, including a Super Bowl watch party, holiday celebrations and military branch celebrations, such as the U.S. Navy’s 248th birthday on Oct. 13. The USO Midway Center currently has a staff of 75 volunteers, some of whom travel as far as an hour to be of service to those who serve.

Travelers passing through Midway International Airport are also encouraged to visit a gallery exhibit celebrating America’s war veterans titled “American Heroes: Portraits of Service,” located in the pedestrian walkway between the CTA Orange Line station and the airport’s concourses.

Organized by the CDA in partnership with Belmont Village Senior Living and co-sponsored by Harrison Street, the specially curated exhibit features portraits of 65 senior veterans from across the country who served America during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, captured by nationally recognized photographer Thomas Sanders.


About the Chicago Department of Aviation 

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) owns and operates one of the world's busiest airport systems, comprised of O'Hare and Midway International Airports. Chicago's airports offer service to more than 250 nonstop destinations worldwide, including 47 foreign countries, combined. Together, Chicago's airports serve more than 105 million passengers each year and generate approximately $70 billion in annual economic activity for the region. The CDA is self-supporting, using no local or state tax dollars for operations or capital improvements at either airport. For more information, visit