“My office is located at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, where I am not only the center’s director, I am heading up several projects to unify the various locations into more comingled activities for our military, which would definitely include this wonderfully restored USO building. This location is a plus, as we have those stationed at the nearby Fallon facility, then there are military soldiers and their families stationed throughout the northern vicinity of Nevada. It would be great to have one huge event to bring them here in a celebration of the USO and bring back some nostalgic ideas,” Mullin said.
Mullin’s learned firsthand about the building’s history from local resident Ruby Hume, who was an actual hostess in the building during her teen years within Hawthorne. He was awed by the photos which depicted the era when military soldiers packed the room, which provided them a safe, social place to gather.
“We still do that at airports mainly, by providing a place to relax, get snacks and catch up with information items or just visit with like-kind. Our location is busy, seeing about 3,500-4,000 guests a year because of Vegas, but we still find the visiting a main portion of their stop with us.”
Mike McNeill, the USO/Convention Center building director, toured Mullin through the building, enlightening him of the important details predominant in the restoration project. McNeill and Shelley Hartmann, Economic Development Director, brought to light the tangible history that has been maintained and continues to build as museum related donations come in.
Hartmann presented Mullin with a photo book of Hawthorne’s USO events and photographed residents so he can display it in Las Vegas to encourage other veterans to visit the Hawthorne facility. At the meeting, future ideas were discussed, to expand the services within the facility and offer services to encourage soldiers and veterans to plan a trip in. “With the military base here, and so much offered within the town that is Patriotic and military related, it’s a perfect place to exercise joint programs while using the USO National Brand,” Mullin confirmed.
It was agreed upon, that including the Tourism Board can open up many opportunities within Mineral County and together many endeavors will be made possible.