USO Wishbook Gifts for the Military Child

Today is the last day of the Month of the Military Child. Here at the USO, we do our best to provide programs and services that ease the unique burdens military children face daily – to provide ways to stay connected to parents when gone for long periods of time. Help us continue to provide these important services by purchasing one of these gifts for a loved one in your life today!

Growing Up Brave
Deployment can be a challenging and confusing time for a child. This $25 kit gives them the tools they need to help cope with this challenge and keep them happy and healthy. It includes a coloring book, a specially-made DVD to answer the questions they often have and a journal.

Family Fun Day
Our military families go through lots of hardships during their service. But at USO centers, they have a chance to relax and have some fun together. For $50 you can make a Family Fun Day at a center possible and give a little something back for all their sacrifice.

Bedtime Stories
The hardest hit members of a military family are often the youngest. For $50 you can help by giving our service men and women the chance to read them a bedtime story through United Through Reading’s Military Program, record it on DVD and send it back home.

USO April Hot Jobs

Here at the USO we’re often asked, “How can I get more involved?” Surprisingly, many don’t consider what could be considered the ultimate in getting involved: working full-time at the USO! Here are just a few positions open right now:

United States

Director, Major Gifts (can be based in Virginia or Texas) – The Director, Major Gifts is responsible for implementation of fundraising efforts targeted to individuals who are capable of donating $25,000 or more to support USO programs and services.

Intern for Information Technology – Listed  under Career Development Positions – The Career Development Program (CDP) is designed to provide current students or recent graduates with a hands-on experience to learn more about non-profits and the various roles we play in lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families.

Pacific

Area Operations Manager, Seoul, Korea –The Area Operations Manager will be responsible for the management, operation and delivery of programs and services at the USO centers within the Seoul, Korea area.

Because why spend your days toiling away at a thankless job? Working at the USO is a truly rewarding experience where you do amazing work with passionate people and day in and day out you get messages of gratitude from the troops and their families. But, in the end, you are simply thankful for being able to do what you can. – Vyque Elessar, USO Director of New Media

Operation Basic Boot Camp

It’s not very often that military children get a chance to see what their parents do on a day-to-day basis. The USO of Metropolitan Washington gave more than 75 children that opportunity and then some. On July 20, 2011 at Fort Belvoir’s Castle Park, USO Metropolitan Washington hosted the first-ever “Operation Basic Boot Camp.” After checking in, the kids had 30 seconds to change into their new t-shirts and meet their drill instructors for a day of fun and challenging activities.

Their  instructors were no joke and the kids gained valuable insight and appreciation into their parents’ lives: “I learned that my parents have been working really hard and what they do is no joke,” says Bryce Hairston, 12.

Both of Bryce’s parents served in the Air Force for more than 20 years and his mother is still active duty.

Once the children were finished with PT, they welcomed Elaine Rogers, president of USO-Metro; and Col. John Strycula, Fort Belvoir garrison commander; for a few words of advice.

Strycula emphasized teamwork and wanted the youth to learn what their parents go through on a day-to-day basis. He also reminded them to stay hydrated because safety always comes first.


Military Children Go Through Boot Camp at Fort Belvoir: MyFoxDC.com

After lunch, the children separated into groups for some team-building activities, face painting to help them blend in with their surroundings, and ended the day with a competitive game of Capture the Flag.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Bryce Hairston said, “At first, I didn’t think I could do it. But, once the drill instructors started yelling at me, it really motivated me to believe I could do it.”

All participants received certificates stating their completion of the first USO-Metro Operation Basic Boot Camp. With the incredible success of the 2011 program, event plans are currently underway to expand. – Joseph P. Scannell, New Media Intern

Princess Tea Party

Daughters of local metropolitan Washington D.C. service members became “princesses for a day” at a Princess Tea Party while their moms received some fashion and makeover tips, April 21, at USO-Metro‘s 2nd Annual Project Cinderella at Fort Meade, Maryland.

The girls learned how to be a lady and accessorized with tiaras, beads and rings before enjoying strawberries and apple juice while getting their nails done. — USO photos by Joseph Andrew Lee

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Healing With Honor

You and I have a special mission — and a short time to complete it.healing with honor

The mission: raise $300,000 in the next 11 days to care for troops who have been wounded on the field of battle. Our most immediate priority includes supplying and operating one of the first stops of the recovery process for our injured troops, the new USO Warrior Recovery Center in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The USO is the right organization to support our wounded troops from the field of battle and throughout their recovery. That’s why you and the USO are in a good place to step forward and help. If we receive your donation of $10 by May 4, it will be matched dollar for dollar up to the $150,000 matching fund limit by a generous and committed donor — doubling your impact for our wounded troops.

Step forward to help our troops who have been wounded. Make a donation now to the USO’s Healing With Honor Matching Campaign and your gift will be doubled.

With your help, we can maintain the USO’s track record of being there for wounded, ill and injured troops every step of the way — from immediate triage, to the first point of evacuation, to sustained support on the road to recovery.

The USO is on the ground in Afghanistan and at supporting military medical facilities at Ramstein Air Base and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where the USO provides a full range of services to our wounded, ill and injured troops, their families and caregivers.

Donate before the May 4th deadline and your Healing With Honor contribution will be doubled in its impact.

Our commitment to our wounded, ill and injured troops must be as unyielding as their commitment to our country.

We only have a short time to reach our $300,000 goal. Please fulfill your role in this mission as quickly and as generously as possible.

Sincerely,
General Richard B. Myers, USAF (Ret.) Chairman of the Board, USO

Update: We reached our goal and our generous supporter has raised their matching limit to $200,000! Can we reach $400,000 for our wounded troops?

VFW Firefighter of the Year Recognized for USO Volunteerism

Recently named Price George's County VFW Firefighter of the Year, Nicole Orme, stands among troops at Ft. Meade during a USO Thanksgiving Dinner there.

She is a wife, a mother, a firefighter and fund raiser.

Don’t forget patriot and volunteer.

Nicole Orme doesn’t have any family or close friends in the military, but she feels giving back to those who sacrifice so much for us is just “the right thing to do.”

We agree. And so does the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

In fact, the VFW recently recognized Orme as Firefighter of the Year in Prince George’s County, Maryland, for volunteering at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and with the USO of Metropolitan Washington at Fort Meade.

“Orme has as a history of serving our fellow soldiers,” said the VFW in a press release. “She makes her family, Department, and community very proud.”

Last year Orme mobilized the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and her local community to create and send military care packages to hundreds of troops serving overseas through her local USO. One soldier even took the time to write her back, thanking her and letting her know how much his whole unit appreciates the care packages.

“When he returned to the States, I had the opportunity to meet him in person,” said Orme. “He brought me back a flag that was flown above his post. I cherish that flag so much. Every time I see it, my heart is warmed knowing that I brought a smile to that soldier when he needed it most.”

She has made multiple visits to the fourth floor of the military hospital to present care packages to wounded warriors and their families, and she has worked extensively with the USO at Fort Meade, coordinating multiple dinners during Thanksgiving and Christmas, feeding hundreds of soldiers unable to go home for the holidays.

At an awards ceremony last month, each of the four VFW post commanders in Prince George’s County presented Orme with a separate certificate and monetary gift for her selfless contributions to our men and women in uniform.

“I am both humbled and grateful to be recognized for doing something I absolutely love,” said Orme. “I always wanted to say ‘thank you’ to our men and women in uniform, and the easiest way to do that was to get involved with the USO. The fact is, if people like us don’t do this, no one will.” – By Joseph Andrew Lee, USO Staff Writer