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Occasionally we see that Family is told NOT to go to the Airport. That it is not allowed. Not true. It IS up to the discretion of each individual airline. I would guess that the state of the world can affect that.

( Also, I did not go to the Gate with my son...not because I wasn't allowed but we ran out of time. He left at 5:45 and by the time they were done checking in there wasn't time to issue some of us passes. BUT I did get to meet him and visit there at the ticket counter.)

Here is the "skinny" on that:

This is listed in the FAQ's for O'Hare and Midway under the Q. of "Can I escort a child, elderly adult or member of the U.S. military to the gate?":
 "...With the exception of international flights, U.S. military personnel traveling under orders may be accompanied to the gate by immediate family. Please visit the TSA's website for information regarding Military Family gate passes."
(Your sailors are "on orders")
Here is the TSA link.
Here is what is says:

Accommodations for U.S. Military Personnel

Military Family Member Gate Passes

Family members who want to accompany a military service member being deployed to the boarding gate or greet them returning from deployment at the arrival gate may receive passes to enter the secure area of the airport.

Interested military family members should contact their air carrier representative at the departure/arrival airport for proper local procedures.



You will need a Gate Pass to be able to go through Security and stay with your Sailor until they depart.

You must meet your Sailor so they can go to the ticket counter to obtain a Gate Pass for you. Have ID for anyone who wishes to do so.

The Sailors go to the USO (if there is time between checking in and boarding) to wait for their flights.

We never see Sailors depart from MKE but I included it anyways.


Make sure that they still have a working Phone card on PIR day if they need to call you from the AP.
Ask them to write down their itinerary on PIR day. 
All Sailors are usually bussed to the AP in the wee hours of the morning, it doesn't matter if they have an early or late flight (there may be exceptions.), they send them all at once. Usually around 1-3 AM, but this varies.
BTW don't post departure info details (airline, flight # and times)  before it happens...OPSEC.

Here is the USO info:

USO Info

USO locations at airports:
O'Hare (ORD), Midway (MDW) and Milwaukee (MKE) all have USO Centers.
The USO at O'Hare is located OUTSIDE of the secured area in Terminal 2 above the Delta Airlines Ticket counter - so anyone can access it. Open 24/7. Phone Number: (773) 686-7396
CDA page for O'Hare Airport USO (CDA -Chicago Department of Aviation.) Has USO amenities info.
The USO at Midway Airport is located INSIDE of the secured area in Concourse C - you must have a boarding pass or courtesy pass to get beyond TSA security area. Both USO's are . Open 9AM - 9PM, 7 days a week (14/7 as military need arises). Phone: (773) 582-5852
CDA page for Midway USO (CDA -Chicago Department of Aviation.) Has USO amenities info.
The USO at Milwaukee is INSIDE the secured are in Concourse D. Across from Gate D30. It is open 8AM-8PM ,7 days a week. Phone: (414) 455-8108  This link shows the concourses.

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