Omaha – Service men and women returning home to the Metro for the holidays will have one less thing to worry about thanks to a University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) partnership allowing active duty military to use UNO’s Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) facilities for free.
Beginning today, any service member on leave, as well as their spouse and/or children, can have access to one of Nebraska’s premiere recreational facilities by showing their discharge orders in exchange for a temporary pass. The offer and ability to use the pass will run through the end of January.
Friends of service men and women can use the facility daily for a reduced price of $7 as part of the deal.
“We really just wanted to do something that would allow these men and women to truly have a break during their time back home,” said Mike Kult, associate director of facilities for HPER. “It’s a small gesture, but hopefully it will help.”
The HPER facilities are located on UNO's Dodge Campus, directly adjacent to the Sapp Fieldhouse.
HPER is partnering with UNO’s Military and Veteran University Services Office (MaV USO) on the project. MaV USO will provide guidance for HPER staff on how to best accommodate active duty military and help with any questions or concerns any visiting service members might have.
“The holiday season is all about giving back and I don’t think there is any group that deserves that more than those who are protecting our country at home and overseas,” said Mike Connolly, interim director for MaV USO. “UNO is well known for it’s military focus and this just continues that mission.”
In November, UNO was named the No. 1 public four-year university for veterans by Military Times Magazine and, in May, UNO’s Online Bachelor of General Studies degree was ranked No. 5 in the nation for veterans by U.S. News and World Report.
UNO’s HPER building was re-opened for the public in 2010 after a $38.6 million renovation which added all-new and updated facilities, including a three-lane jogging track, rock climbing wall, Olympic-sized swimming pool, racquet ball/squash courts and a full service massage room, among other amenities.
“The HPER building at UNO is a world-class facility,” Kult said. “You’d have a hard time finding one better in the region, let alone the state.”
Those with questions about access to HPER should call the HPER front desk at 402.554.2539 or the MaV USO office at 402.554.2349.
For media inquiries, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at email@example.com or by phone at 402.554.2129.
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