Helping Out on Purple Heart Day


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

If you have a friend or family member who was awarded the Purple Heart, today isn’t necessarily the day to buy a drink for him or her in hopes of hearing a detailed story about why they received it. Often, the Purple Heart commemorates the most terrifying day of someone’s life, so there may be painful and tragic memories associated with it.

Instead, think about how you can be of service to the greater community of America’s combat wounded troops. There are countless ways to get involved. While the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs provide resources, a number of gaps have widened as the roster of wounded has swelled. In addition to volunteering at a local USO center, the USO and its best-in-class partners are always looking for help by facilitating programs for wounded, ill and injured troops and their families along with the families of the fallen. Here are just a few of those offerings:

The Fisher House: The Fisher House provides free housing to wounded troops on the grounds of major military hospitals. With several families often staying at these homes together, volunteer services are often needed.

Ride 2 Recovery: USO/Ride 2 Recovery Challenge Rides test recovering troops’ endurance while allowing them to build camraderie. Visit their site to find a ride near you, where you can ride with the wounded or volunteer.

Hire Heroes USA: The USO, in collaboration with Hire Heroes USA, offers Transition Workshops and Career Opportunity Days (CODs) for wounded, ill and injured troops, spouses and caregivers. If you are an employer, you can participate by helping conduct mock interviews and provide feedback, providing an additional level of support for transitioning service members to meet with employers offering jobs.

You can learn more about these programs by visiting

–Story by Joseph Andrew Lee, USO staff writer

Top Responding Centers for 2013 USO Volunteer Satisfaction Survey Announced

The 2013 USO Volunteer Satisfaction Survey numbers have been tallied and the results are in. The top three centers with the highest percentage of volunteers taking the survey, and the center with the most responses overall in each region, are receiving USO Volunteer T-shirts for all their volunteers.

Survey concept.

More than 6,600 volunteers responded to the 2013 survey, 95 percent of which expressed satisfaction with their overall USO volunteer experience.

USO Volunteer Services would like to thank all the center staff for encouraging their volunteers to complete the survey and all the volunteers who took the time to share their thoughts. The winners are:

CONUS Direct Report

  • Travis Air Force Base (USO Bay Area)
  • San Antonio Downtown
  • Dover Air Force Base (USO Delaware)
  • Denver International Airport (Rocky Mountain USO)

CONUS Chartered

  • USO Tampa Bay
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord (USO Northwest)
  • Milwaukee (USO of Wisconsin)
  • St. Louis Airport (USO of Missouri)


  • Camp Kim
  • Camp Walker
  • Camp Humphreys
  • Hawaii-Honolulu International Airport


  • Wiesbaden Hainerberg Cottage
  • Frankfurt International Airport
  • USO Stuttgart
  • LRMC – Warrior Center

Southwest Asia

  • Camp Leatherneck
  • Camp Marmal
  • FOB Fenty
  • Camp Buehring
  • Dubai

–Story by USO Operations