This Week’s Snag Film: Ballou

It’s time to grab the popcorn and gather the family around the computer, because we have your new offering for the USO Theater from Snag Films!

This week’s documentary is Ballou; here’s the synopsis from Snag Films:

The marching band at Ballou Senior High School in D.C.

“Members of the Ballou Senior High School Marching Band rise above their violence-filled Washington, D.C., neighborhood in this documentary, which follows the group as they try to achieve their dream of winning the national marching band competition. Inspired by their tireless director, Darrell Watson, and helped by a dedicated team of volunteers, the musical teens put their heads, hearts and souls into making the band the best it can be.”

Enjoy!

Renovation and Expansion for USO San Antonio

The USO Center at the San Antonio International Airport has recently completely a renovation and expansion process!  At 5,100 square feet, the center certainly lives up to the motto that “Everything’s Bigger in Texas.”  With room for a computer center, a theater, snack bar, television, pool tables, gaming rooms, and a space set aside just for kids, there’s something for everyone.

San Antonio, TX, is located at a nexus of Troop activity, with Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Brooks City-Base, and Brooke Army Medical Center.  Because of their proximity to BAMC, the center will also feature activities and entertainment designed specifically for wounded Troops.

We’re thrilled to expand the services and space available at USO San Antonio and invite Troops and their families to stop by and see is on their way through the airport! Check out some pics from yesterday’s Grand Reopening festivities…

USO San Antonio Center Director, Shari Jenson (center), joins to Brig. Gen. Leonard A. Patrick, Commander, 502nd Air Base Wing, Fort Sam Houston, Texas (far L); Sloan Gibson, USO president; Edward Reilly, USO Board of Governors Chair at the USO San Antonio Grand Re-Opening celebration on April 7, 2010. (USO Photo by PhotoFino)

Local service members join Shari Jenson, USO San Antonio Center Director (center); William Moll, former Chair of the USO Board of Governors (far L); and Sloan Gibson, USO president (far R) as they hold up Nintendo® Wii™ and Xbox® 360 games donated by Activision. (USO Photo by PhotoFino)

Brig. Gen. Leonard A. Patrick, Commander, 502nd Air Base Wing, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, greets the crowd outside of the USO San Antonio building in downtown San Antonio during the center's re-opening celebration on April 7, 2010. (USO Photo by Photo Fino)

USO San Antonio Center Director Shari Jenson does an interview for a local news station at the center's re-opening celebration on April 7, 2010. (USO Photo by PhotoFino)

USO San Antonio's new center is a 5,100 square foot facility that features a computer area with free Internet access; theater room; lounge area with televisions, recliners, Xbox® 360 stations, and two pool tables; a children’s room; United Through Reading® Military Program recording area; and a fully stocked snack bar with ice cream stations. Center visitors also have access to four gaming rooms with multiple Nintendo® Wii™ and more Xbox® 360 gaming consoles. (USO Photo by PhotoFino)

Ride 2 Recovery Texas Challenge

A group of riders 130 strong set off from the Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center. on our way to San Marcos. They had the Army Band, the UCONN and Stanford cheerleaders (who were in town for the women's Final Four), and American Idol singer Ayla Brown there, too!

The USO is proud to be a partner of Ride 2 Recovery, which is guided by two simple principles:  1. Cycling is an activity that almost all patients with mental and physical disabilities can participate; 2. Participation in the Ride 2 Recovery Program helps speed up the recovery and rehabilitation process.

Wounded veterans of any ability level are welcome – with proper training – to participate in rides like the “Don’t Mess with Texas Challenge,” sponsored by United Healthcare.  The challenge – created by R2R – will take cyclists from Brooke Army Medical Center to Dallas/Ft. Worth, a distance of over 350 miles!

We’re proud of these veterans and look forward to keeping you informed of their progress.  Check out the first batch of photos and be sure to scroll down for Friday and Saturday’s routes.  Come out and say hi if you’re in Texas!

Throughout the day they had great support from the American Legion Riders keeping rider safe and free of traffic. The only time rider hit the brakes all day was for the USO lunch stop! With many different types of ability levels on the ride, many of the more significant injuries need some extra help from 10+ volunteer support drivers also along for the ride.

On Friday, April 9 riders will travel 65 miles from Ft. Hood to Waco.

On Saturday, Apr. 10 riders will travel 72 miles from Waco to Cleburne.