The Corporation for National and Community Service asks Americans to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King every year by making the observation of the King Holiday a national day of service. On a day like today, we would like to take the opportunity to thank the thousands of volunteers that make possible what we do at the USO.
We thought it might be best to express the gratitude we have for our volunteers – and the joy they have in serving our men and women in uniform – by sharing a letter we recently received from one volunteer to all the others:
“Dear Mary Lou Austin and Volunteers,
Commercial Property Professionals wants to personally take a moment to thank Mary Lou Austin (President, USO of Georgia) for allowing us the opportunity to be a part of the busiest day at USO Atlanta in years; additionally, we want to thank all of the volunteers who made January 3, 2010 such an overwhelming success for USO Atlanta. Through your efforts we fed over 4,500 troops moving through the airport, of the 4500 approximately 3,900 were returning back to Forts Gordon and Jackson to continue their training prior to deployment with their assigned units. The other 600 were en route to various locations around the country and around the world; some to spend time with families, some to continue training and some to protect the freedoms that so many take for granted.
Wednesday December 2, 2010 Nick Nichols of Nichols Neal Construction (my right hand man in serving USO Atlanta) and I went to a meeting hosted by the USO Atlanta, there were personnel from the military, airport, police, airlines and other USO volunteers in attendance. lt was at this meeting that we began to realize the scope of the undertaking and knew we had better get busy. Early the next week I sent out an email to many of you that have either served with us at USO Atlanta or had expressed an interest in doing so, within hours my phone and email were burning up with request to help, along with request to get others groups involved. Over the next few weeks we had the plan down and the volunteer slots filled, so much so that we had to turn volunteers away.
For those that had the opportunity to be on site at USO Atlanta it was an amazing day that won’t be forgotten. I cannot tell you how many volunteers came up to me throughout the day making comments regarding the quantity and most importantly the “QUALITY” of these “ALL VOLUNTEER TROOPS”, that’s correct every one of the Troops we served ‘VOLUNTEERED” for this duty. Every USO Atlanta volunteer I spoke with expressed how polite, respectfuland appreciative allof these young men and women were (they were thanking us, are you kidding me?). The other comments I heard most often were “I can’t believe how young they are” and “l can’t believe how many young Ladies there are.” What l didn’t hear was rudeness, complaining or otherwise bitterness, just thankfulness and gratitude!
Sunday’s USO Atlanta experience was truly a community effort…we offer our sincere thanks to USO Atlanta and all ofthe volunteers (many of whom were not mentioned) who made donations of time and money. Withoutyou this day would not have possible. Without our great military and the young men and women serving, America’s survival as we know it is not possible! God Bless our Military and God Bless America!”