We have two 'sleep-overs' in the Center tonight, both leaving on early flights. One of the services we do provide by remaining open 24-7 is providing a place of comfort and privacy for our heroes and their families, especially when they are either forced to or choose to spend the night. The recliners we have provide a comfortable place to sleep, aided by the pillows and blankets we give them. One time a woman arrived from a late night flight, walking in the door of the Center about 1 AM (0100 to those of you who have served) very stressed about having her husband drive up here from Fayetteville to pick her up. I suggested she call him and tell him to stay home until after the morning rush and that she relax and get some rest. I then fixed her a whole wheat bagel and some chamomile tea; within a few moments after that she was sound asleep awakening at 5:30 when her husband called to say he was about 10 minutes from the airport (he chose to leave before the morning rush from the South of Raleigh). She stopped to thank me for the service I provided and her words meant more to me than any other because of the service she provided to our country (I checked our guest log after she'd left and discovered she was a retired General).
Time does move slowly on the night shift here at the Center (didn't do so as I recall when working as a nurse in the ED at Tampa General!), but that's a good thing. It is a real pleasure to serve and it is often a lot of fun as well. If you're interested in finding out what I'm talking about, try calling the USO-NC Center at (919) 840-0941 and ask how you can become involved. We can always use more volunteers and I guarantee that you'll get more than you give.