Military lounges are airport oases

If you are in the military, you have probably visited the special lounges at the airports close to your base on your way to or from deployment. But did you know that you can use dozens of such lounges across the country while on a personal trip with your family?

Those so-called airport centers are operated by the United Services Organization (USO), a private, nonprofit group whose mission is “to support the troops by providing morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform.” I’ve written about airline business lounges before, and like most frequent fliers, I can hardly imagine travel without the oasis they provide in crowded terminals. I had no idea, however, that there were military lounges…

Embassy bombings spur security boost

It was lunchtime on April 18, 1983, and the cafeteria of the American Embassy in Beirut was buzzing with customers. At about 1 p.m., a powerful blast tore apart the front of the seven-story building. The bomb, hidden in a van reportedly stolen from the embassy 10 months earlier, killed 63 employees, including 17 Americans.

It was the first time that a U.S. embassy had become a terrorist target, and it forever changed the way the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), the State Department’s law-enforcement division, operates around the world.

“The bombings of the embassy in West Beirut in 1983 and of the embassy annex in East Beirut in 1984 were a major catalyst for creating the Bureau of Diplomatic Security,” which oversees the DSS, said John C. Murphy, special agent in charge of Secretary of State Colin L. Powell’s protective detail and a DSS agent for 29 years…

A very Cybill affair

Cybill Shepherd knows life like few other people do. From early stardom in Hollywood to neglect and rejection, to marriage, divorce and single parenthood, her story is one of intense emotions and great controversies. The mere mention of her name leaves no person neutral and no reaction mellow. She has been called “goddess” and “clown”, “loving” and “arrogant”, “vibrant” and “insane”. For years she viewed such extreme attitudes as part of the “bargain” she had “made with the devil”: “If I can only become rich and famous for doing what I love to do, I’ll accept the trade-off”.

Not any longer. “There is a myth that is completely untrue about me being difficult to work with,” she says passionately. “I don’t make unilateral decisions and I don’t have breakdowns; I’m wonderful, tremendously disciplined, loving and generous. I was blessed with beauty and talent, but I work really hard, like every job is the last I’ll ever have”…