[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 69 (Tuesday, May 15, 2012)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E792]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                         HON. GUS M. BILIRAKIS

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  Mr. BILIRAKIS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor retired U.S. Air 
Force SMSgt (Ret.) Walter Lamerton of Trinity, Florida for his critical 
role in bringing the USO to Tampa International Airport.
  On January 18, 2012, the USO Board of Governors voted to grant a 
charter for the USO expansion to Tampa. This USO Center is scheduled to 
open in August 2012 and will support the more than 300,000 service 
members and their families that annually transit the Tampa Bay 
community. At the time of the vote, USO Headquarters Staff stated that 
``Many have applied, but that this is the first Chartered USO Center 
approved in the nation in over twenty years.''
  Walter Lamerton was a driving force behind submitting this ultimately 
successful proposal to the USO Board of Governors. He worked closely 
with volunteers throughout the Tampa Bay area and effectively conveyed 
their message of support for our service members and their families to 
both the local community and to the USO Board of Governors, under a 
compact timeframe.
  Mr. Lamerton's leadership and attention to detail were critical in 
the effort to bring the USO Center to Tampa. As a result, many of our 
Nation's service members and their families will directly benefit from 
his efforts for years to come.
  As Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, I 
constantly find myself in awe of the sacrifices and efforts that have 
been made on behalf of our great country by the men and women who have 
worn the uniform of our Armed Services. Because of this, it is my 
distinct honor to recognize and express my gratitude to Walter Lamerton 
for his dedication in bringing the USO to the Tampa Bay area. His 
success in this endeavor will serve as a lasting legacy for all who 
support our military and their families. The USO Center at Tampa 
International Airport will, surely, be a shining star in our community.