A New Site for Wounded, Ill and Injured Soldiers

The USO Warrior and Family Center is missing its final beam!

Last week I had the honor of joining servicemen and women, donors, construction representatives, and USO staff to enjoy the topping out ceremony for the new USO Warrior and Family Center in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.

Most topping out ceremonies celebrate the completion of the building’s structure, a milestone for the construction team. Our ceremony was more than that. We weren’t just celebrating the halfway mark of the building’s construction. We were celebrating what the new center will be for wounded, ill and injured (WII) troops, their families, caregivers and families of the fallen.

Come January, the large skeleton of the USO Warrior and Family Center will be transformed into a place where our country’s WII troops can go to escape the hospital, relax, and have fun during their journey to recovery.

The USO Warrior and Family Center will offer a caring environment where the healing that has begun, can accelerate. It will be a focal point for support; a place of respite and recreation; a place of normalcy to bring family together; and a place to prepare for a happy and fulfilling life ahead.

The final beam is placed into the USO Warrior and Family Center.

As I saw the final beam lifted into the sky and lowered into place atop the center, I couldn’t help but smile as I envisioned the center being utilized by WII troops every day. Many of the proud faces around me were delighted, too, and I thought they must be thinking the same thing.

Did you know?

  • Since the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 40,000 troops have been visibly wounded began, and more than 300,000 troops suffer from invisible wounds.
  • Only 12-14% of WII patients are injured in combat.
  • Many WII patients are injured during training.

The Fort Belvoir USO Warrior and Family Center:

  • Inside: communal kitchen, dining area, game room, theater, classroom, business center, study areas, community room, therapeutic enrichment room, respite lounge, and more.
  • Outside: grill area, terrace, and healing gardens
  • This center is designed for warriors to have easy access and mobility throughout these spaces.
  • The USO Warrior and Family Center in Ft. Belvoir is the first of two centers specifically for our nation’s WII troops. The second center will be built near the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.

To join the USO in supporting these heroes please visit www.uso.org/oec

- Sarah Camille Hipp, Communications Specialist

4 thoughts on “A New Site for Wounded, Ill and Injured Soldiers

  1. Thanks for keeping us informed on the missions progress with this well communicated and uplifting update. Sounds like a beam of hope to break the prosaic streif our WII troops face on the return to full health.

  2. Hi Sarah!

    I am the wife of a retired US Navy veteran. After serving as a military wife for 2 decades, I have seen the visible and invisible wounds that serving our country leaves behind.

    After my own near-death experience, I live every day with a disability. Through it all, I know that faith, a positive attitude and environment are all beneficial in my healing. I just released my debut Just Breathe CD that is filled with songs of hope and encouragement (both spiritual and non-spiritual).

    My mission is to bring comfort and hope to people who are suffering or adjusting to their own health limitations. Reaching out to our military heroes is one way I am doing just that! I have started the “Touch A Hero’s Heart Project” to collect cards for our deployed, injured and veteran soldiers, police officers and firefighters. I collect cards for the “Touch A Hero’s Heart Project” everywhere I sing.

    I am have also partnered with the Lee County Chapter of the American Red Cross and the American Legion Post 38 to perform at their military related events. My most recent performance in support of these military support organizations was at the “Tribute To America’s Heroes” over Memorial Day Weekend.

    I am planning a visit the wounded soldiers at Walter Reed in July and will definitely make regular trips to the National Military Medical Center to donate blood and provide encouragement and support for our heroes. I am awaiting confirmation to sing for them as well.

    It would be an honor to sing some patriotic songs for the grand opening of the Ft. Belvoir USO Warrior and Family Center in January! Could you kindly contact me (www.aht4u.com)

    Here is a link to my performance of our country’s National Anthem: http://youtu.be/Hof0ZBYgFBQ

    Thank you for your blog post Sarah, and thanks advance for responding to my message.

    Dallas

    • Hi Dallas!

      Thanks for all your family’s service for our country! You have a beautiful voice, we will be sure to pass along your info to our entertainment division and our center operations division!

      Thanks again,
      Sarah Camille

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