The United Services Organization has not had a facility on Guam for several years following its departure from USO Beach in Piti; a site popular for its swimming and snorkeling sites.

The owners of the Royal Orchid Guam would like to change that and have offered 5 000 square feet of space for a new USO in the Tumon hotel at no charge.

“The Royal Orchid wants to play a part in providing the men and women of the armed forces with a touch of home while on Guam ” Richard G. Rennie general manager of the Royal Orchid told the Journal. “The Su Family who own the Royal Orchid strongly supports the armed forces and what they do for our country our island and our economy. As a token of appreciation the Su’s wanted to do something for our troops and their families. By donating space for the USO Center they feel that they can give something back to the troops who have done so much for us. It was an easy decision for them ” Rennie said.

The space that is being donated is situated on the street level of the hotel and will be an information recreation and entertainment center. The Royal Orchid also offers discounts to military members and Rennie said the hotel has encouraged the restaurants within the hotel building to do the same.

“We have always been very supportive of the armed forces on Guam and its visiting service members. Armed forces members always receive special rates at our hotel and will continue to do so — especially during port-of-call visits by the Navy.

“As the USO Center is built we will work with our tenant restaurants Tony Roma’s Capriciossa Calvi House and our own Café to also offer special discounts to service members ” he said.

The USO Center is scheduled to open on the street level of the hotel on Nov. 1. The 5 000 square feet will feature telephones e-mail services television books snacks and tour information. It will also be within walking distance of the many sites and attractions of downtown Tumon.

“We are honored to play a role in this venture and look forward to working with the USO for many years to come ” Rennie said. “The mission of the USO has always been to ‘provide morale welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform.’ Their original intent was to represent the American people by extending a touch of home to the military. The Guam chapter will continue in this spirit — especially given the warm hospitality of our island and our appreciation for all the work the armed forces do on our behalf.”

The USO has begun seeking a project manager for Guam and the vice president for operations for USO’s Pacific region is due to visit Guam at the end of September. The project manager will “develop a revenue stream and staffing requirements … programs and services … recruit and build relationships with [the] military command potential sponsors potential advisory council members and volunteers ” according to the job description.

The USO a private non-profit and congressionally chartered organization has been assisting military members and their families in both peace and wartime since its inception in 1941. With the help of entertainer and comedian Bob Hope the USO became a global icon for entertaining military troops. MBJ