The Travelers Aid Society of Washington was founded in 1912. The Travelers Aid program at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport began in 1941 as part of the new United Service Organizations, better known as the USO.
Just as the federal government opened the new National Airport on the Virginia shores of the Potomac River in 1941, the USO was there.
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt invited Mary Ingraham, then president of the national Young Women’s Christian Association, to form a group to provide morale and recreation services to U.S. military personnel.This request brought together six civilian organizations: the YWCA, National Travelers Aid Association, Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Service, and the National Jewish Welfare Board. They were brought together under one umbrella, USO, to support U.S. troops.
In 1947, after the war was over, the Travelers Aid Society of Washington took over the USO responsibilities at National Airport.
With the opening of the new Terminals B and C in 1997, the volunteer program doubled in size and has continued to grow and thrive. Reagan National now serves close to 25 million passengers each year, and in 2019, Travelers Aid assisted more than 700,000 customers with their travel challenges. Last year, our 230 volunteers provided more than 30,000 hours of community service assisting Reagan guests.