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USO Arizona helping military and veterans

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Fry's grocery stores are raising money for military charities during the month of February.

The goal is to collect more than $100,000.

One of the organizations benefiting from the "Courageous Hearts" campaign is USO Arizona, which supports military communities across the state.  

It's also helping to ease the strain of traveling through Sky Harbor Airport.

"Last year, we had 17,000 come through and 10 percent of that came through in December alone," said Tara Mogan with USO Arizona.

When traveling service members and veterans walk through the door of USO Arizona, in terminal 4 at Sky Harbor, each one is shown just how much they're appreciated.

"They can expect big, warm smiles, a very warm greeting and kind of a home away from home feeling here," said Mogan.

Every day, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. it's a place where they can come to relax between flights.

"You can put your bags away in a secured area," Mogan said. "You can come to the cafe and get something to eat, something to drink."

If rest is what's needed, there's a dark room where service members can nap.

Those who aren't tired can watch TV, play video games or hop online.

"If you want to take a shower, we have all of the facilities and hygiene tools you need to get yourself refreshed and feel like a human being again if you've been traveling for days and days," said Mogan.

All of this is provided free of charge, thanks to volunteers and donations to USO Arizona.

"We are non-partisan, privately funded by individual donors, private donors - and we look at the holistic care of the military communities," Mogan explained.

On Thursday night, Feb. 13, CBS 5 will host a phone bank from 5:00 to 7:00 to help raise funds for Courageous Hearts - which benefits USO Arizona and other military non-profits.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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