The patriotic pictures on the walls of Ft. Lee and the Richmond International Airport are no ordinary images. Drawn by children, the artwork illustrates their support and respect for the troops that keep them safe.
In honor of April’s ‘Month of the Military Child,’ the USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia (USO HRCV) has created a unique contest to engage local children and raise awareness of the USO’s mission.
For the second year, the USO HRCV called on all school-age children in the area to compete in an art contest that uses the winning artworks to decorate the walls of USO HRCV’s two local USO centers, Richmond International Airport and Ft. Lee.
The children, ages 5 to 18, were instructed to create a patriotic artwork that incorporated the USO HRCV logo and a branch of service or military families.
Once the winning artwork was selected, USO HRCV turned the patriotic images into wallpaper for their two locations.
Last week USO HRCV held unveilings for the winners at their two locations, where their patriotic art work was on display.
Surrounded by support from proud family members and even art teachers, the winners enjoyed a light meal and cake to celebrate. USO HRCV also presented the children with certificates of appreciation.
USO Director of the Richmond International Airport Center, Tricia Riggs, said the children were very excited and appreciative of the opportunity to have their artwork on display. Riggs also received numerous calls from parents telling her how meaningful this opportunity has been for both them and their child.
One girl’s grandfather, a Navy Vet, had recently passed away. Riggs said the girl and her family were very thankful and humbled to have her artwork on display and sending a lasting message of thanks to the troops who will visit the center.
Since children are our future military members and volunteers, Riggs stressed how important it is for USO HRCV to work them. Before this event, many of the children had not heard about USO HRCV.
Now, these children know how they can help our nation’s troops, and they have an exciting experience to share with their family and friends.
“Each child left not only with a better understanding of the USO, but a new sense of pride and patriotism for their country and those who serve,” said Riggs.
Check out USO HRCV’s Snapfish album to see more pictures of the children’s winning artwork. – Sarah Camille Hipp, Communications Specialist