USO Naples’ “Got Talent,” a Visit from the Mobile Canteen, and a Chili Dinner at the Warrior Center!

On February 26, USO Naples – with support from United Airlines – hosted a talent show – and did the talent come out in force!  The winners received two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the US.  Check out the coverage from AFN:

USO Kaiserslautern was at the Ramstein Commissary on Saturday March 20 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm with the Mobile canteen to support the commissary’s “March Madness Club Pack Sale” and show appreciation to the Kaiserslautern Military Community.  Thanks to the generosity of DeCA and other sponsors, USO Kaiserslautern gave out free hot dogs, chips, popcorn, drinks, cookies, books and magazines to more than 800 loyal customers. USO volunteers and staff handed out children’s DVDs and small toys to each child that was present. The event was very successful with smiling faces and donations to support the Troops.

Learn more about our USO Mobile Program!

Military families line up at the USO Mobile canteen for snacks, courtesy of USO Kaiserslautern.

On March 21, the USO Warrior Center hosted three amazing chefs from the States. Blake Powers from Soldiers’ Angels and the ladies from Yellow Bowl Bakery, Molly Greenwood and Katy Gunderson (Manager of Operations/Founder of Bakers without Borders) prepared an awesome Chili and Dessert Dinner for 125 wounded warriors.

The wounded warriors were very impressed by the spread the chefs prepared.  One wounded warrior asked the chefs who cooked the desserts, when Molly and Katy replied that they both made them he said, “I know that it’s illegal, but I would love to marry both of you!”

This was an awesome night with wonderful food and great company.  The USO Warrior Center would like to give a very special thank you to Blake, Molly, and Katy for coming out and cooking for the wounded.

(L to R) Chefs Blake "Laughing Wolf" Powers, Katy Gunerson, and Molly Greenwood show of their certificates with Melissa Parkins of the USO Warrior Center

United Through Reading Tonight on NBC Nightly News

Be sure to watch NBC Nightly News this evening, as United Through Reading’s Military Program will be featured!  Learn more about how this innovative program keeps military families connected through the gift of books and a shared story.  Be sure to check your local listings for times.

Can’t wait until tonight to hear about United Through Reading?  Check out this great story from USO Kuwait…

A USO volunteer colors in the United Through Reading logo on a T-wall right outside the USO center at Camp Ali Al Salem. (USO Photo by Duane DeVorak)

Sailor’s Hobby Gives Back to USO
by Duane DeVorak, Media Director, Camp Ali Al Salem

Deployed service members dedicate hard work to their job and the branch they serve in; however that does not mean they have to sacrifice their other hobbies and passions.  One sailor uses his skills as a cartoonist to beautify the base and build morale.

The USO at Camp Ali Al Salem (AAS) was trying to promote the already successful United Through Reading program and Keon Moore, one of the Duty Managers at AAS realized one way to do this was to paint one of the T-Walls outside of the center.

“While on a deployment service members look for any opportunity to bring themselves closer to their families.  Whether it’s through morale calls or e-mails there is always a way to reach that love one back home, but another way to connect to the little one in your life is the USO’s UTR program,” said Moore.  “That’s why it’s so important to promote this program.”

USO Volunteers and Duty Manager Keon Moore work on the Dr. Seuss UTR wall into the wee hours of the night to get it done. The wall was painted to help promote the already popular USO program. (USO Photo by Duane DeVorak)

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ronald Kaopuiki had already painted several walls for Navy Customs here at Camp AAS.  It was no surprise when he was asked to paint one for the USO that he agreed to help out in no time

“I did this for the kids basically,” said Kaopuiki.  “By painting this wall I am able to help promote this program and get service members to read to their children.”

Kaopuiki along with three other USO volunteers completed the wall in about seven hours.  The entire wall was done so quickly thanks to his idea of painting with spray paint.

The theme selected was Dr. Seuss, since the popular character is so well known and people will automatically look to see what the wall is all about.

Since 2006, United Through Reading recordings made by troops at USO centers has steadily increased. In the first year, a little more than 4,200 recordings took place at USO locations. The total number grew to more than 20,000 in 2008 and reached 57,000 in 2009.