Holiday Travel: Hundreds of Marines receive USO welcome at McCarran International Airport before heading home

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The holidays bring families together. Friday morning 440 Marines and military service members arrived from Twentynine Palms, California and will depart McCarran International Airport to head home for the holidays.

The United Service Organizations (USO) strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation.

With an office located just outside the security entrance to A and B gates at McCarran, Marines checked into the USO as soon as the buses arrived. Since there were over 400 of them, conference rooms were reserved down the hall where Marines rested and stored their bags.

Jeff Gombos with USO Nevada spoke with 8 News Now on what it took to coordinate such a massive gathering.

“Well, we have a great volunteer core that always steps up and helps us out so we have extra volunteers on shift right now. We also have tacos coming, we have pizza coming, some volunteers have stepped up and ane even bought that for us,” said Jeff Gombos, USO Nevada.

“This is what we’re about and this is what we support no matter what it takes we make it happen,” added Gombos.

8 News Now was able to talk to a service member about what this warm welcome and going home for the holidays means to him.

“Just a regular old day. The difference is flying home after being away for a little while. I’ve only been in for about 4 months or so. I got out of boot camp a little while ago so it’s pretty nice. I made cool friends, met cool people, like that guy right there…it’s been a neat experience,” said Devin Delaney, Private Marine Corps.

The USO is a nonprofit, charitable corporation chartered by Congress that relies on donations from individuals, organizations, and corporations to support its programs. Every president has been the Honorary Chairman of the USO since 1941.

It’s a special time of year for those families reuniting again – especially for these Marines.

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