We are all familiar with the great USO system at numerous airports around the country.  I am here to tell you about a non-USO lounge at DTW (Detroit) that is just as good as any USO.  Named the Freedom Center it is a privately run lounge paid for through donations.  The volunteers are just as enthusiastic and gracious as any USO volunteer.

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As you can see this lounge has only been there for about a year.  This was my second visit and they continue to improve.  When I entered, I was offered a chicken caeser salad.  Can’t say I have ever been to a USO that had such a nice meal.  Obviously, they are doing OK with donors.  They had a ton of pogie bait to take with you for the flight.  The lounge is easy to find.  Go through security into Councourse A and go about 100 feet to your left.  It has a pretty narrow entrance, but that leads back to a cozy couple of rooms that can comfortably fit a dozen people or so with overstuffed easy chairs, big screen TV, and free Wi-Fi.

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Pretty nice place to relax and hang out.  Best of all, unlike most USOs, it is airside meaning you can wait until just before your flight boards to leave.  Make sure you get there before they call “military members in uniform” although Delta didn’t do that for my flight back to DCA.  Oh, well, I still boarded second due to my status on Alaska.  Check out the Freedom Center and let us know if you find other non-USO military lounges at other airports.  EDIT:  I should have included their website: http://mifreedomcenter.org/

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Posted by glenn | 4 Comments

4 responses to “A Different Kind of Military Airport Lounge”

  1. Jane S. says:

    Is it just for active duty or can retiree use it? What about retiree dependents traveling solo? I ask because we have a summer home in Michigan and I always have to make a connection at DTW.

    • glenn says:

      @Jane – Yes, retirees and dependents can use it too! See the details on their webpage: http://mifreedomcenter.org/ scroll to the middle bottom for who is allowed in.

    • Charlotte T says:

      Jane, Glenn, and other military personnel: The Freedom Center warmly welcomes, active duty, reservists, guard members, veterans, retirees, and dependents. We also welcome allied military personnel.

      We are open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 0600 until approx 2230 (we are flight dependant on closing). If we have overnight guests, we will either stay open, or accommodate them for the night. If by chance we are closed when a guest arrives, there is a phone number on our front door to call, and we will make the lounge accessible.

      If you haven’t already visited us, please do, we are confident you will enjoy your stay.

      (And thank you Glenn for the review!)

      Charlotte, Center Director
      Freedom Center

  2. Mark MAC McAuliffe says:

    Wow this place sounds great! We are flying into dtw and with the weather at our home airport we may need to stop over and see you tomorrow!! Thank you for what you are doing, it means the world to servicemen and veterans !! We hope to see you tomorrow!!
    Retired vet Mark MAC McAuliffe

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