‘It’s My Turn to Give Back’: USO Las Vegas Volunteers support Air Force Trials for Warrior Games

LAS VEGAS–More than 100 participants and onlookers screamed their support for their fellow wounded warriors racing in the pool Monday at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. And standing on the periphery of the Buchanan Natatorium were six USO volunteers waiting to help however they could.

“They have a deep appreciation and passion for serving the military,” USO Las Vegas Center Director Jennifer Earl said.

The USO is celebrating National Volunteer Week at our 160-plus locations worldwide. But even as we honor the volunteers who fuel our organization, they continue to give back to America’s service members. USO Las Vegas volunteers are supporting the Air Force Trials all week, which is the competition the service branch uses to select its entrants to this fall’s Warrior Games.

Trio of NFL Players Visit USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir for P&G Event

Photos from last week's meet-and-greet with NFL players at the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir, Va. USO photos

Photos from last week’s meet-and-greet with NFL players at the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir, Va. USO photos

FORT BELVOIR, Va.—A buzz was in the air Thursday as 200 military families at the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir awaited the arrival of three NFL players. Cheers erupted as a trio of wide receivers – the Baltimore Ravens’ Steve Smith, the New England Patriots’ Brandon Lafell and the Washington Redskins’ Andre Roberts walked into the room.

The players’ appearance was due in part to long time USO Partner, Procter & Gamble. In a joint promotion with the Defense Commissary Agency, Procter & Gamble will be awarding nine ProCamps to bases this summer. ProCamps are sports camps led by professional athletes that are designed to teach basic skills and teamwork to kids in kindergarten up through eighth grade. Procter & Gamble is presenting this program under their Family Unit platform, which is a partnership with the USO to provide resources, information and offers to military families.

“This summer, 1,500 kids on military bases are going to have the opportunity to play and learn from some of the best NFL players,” said Barbra Kelly, Proctor and Gamble’s Senior Marketing Manager, Shopper Based Marketing. “This is a once in a lifetime experience.”

The players spent an hour signing autographs, talking with troops and taking pictures. Sgt. 1st Class Shakeisha Cheeks, who brought her children to the event, said she’s attended several events at the center.

“The USO is so supportive of military families,” Cheeks said. “Events like this are great. We like to come out and have fun. Since we’ve been here, we’ve been to over 50 or 60 USO events. The USO is really doing great things for military families.”

-Katie Zeller

National Volunteer Week: Frank and Helen Marsh

Frank and Helen Marsh represent the lifeblood of the USO: our volunteers. Frank served as a parachute rigger in the Marines from 1955 to 1957, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant before he got out. He and his wife Helen found their USO volunteer opportunity through the Knights of Columbus, where Frank has been a member for almost 50 years.

We caught up with the Marshes at the USO Marine Corps Trials at Camp Pendleton, Calif.,  where they handed out energy bars, snacks and refreshments to wounded warriors competing in the archery event.

Volunteers Add Healing Touch at USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir, Va.

FORT BELVOIR, Va.-The USO Warrior and Family Center here serves a unique community, and couldn’t operate without a cadre of trained volunteers. The center caters to wounded, ill and injured troops and their caregivers and families recovering from both visible and invisible wounds of war.

“Our volunteers here are amazing,” said Pam Horton, Director of USO Warrior and Family Centers. “There is not a chance we could have done a tenth of what we’ve done if they hadn’t been here.”

The USO is proud to celebrate National Volunteer Week. Our 29,000-plus volunteers donate roughly 1.5 million hours of service each year. They’re the reason the service members and their families who walk through our doors more than 8 million times each year feel welcome.

USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda Opens its Doors

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BETHESDA, Md.-After a year of construction and several years of planning and fundraising, the ribbon was finally cut today at the Warrior and Family Center at Naval Support Activity Bethesda - the home Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

The center – which is the sister structure to the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir, Va. – opens to troops and their families and caregivers tomorrow and will provide a much-needed home away from home for wounded, ill and injured troops and their families and caregivers living on the installation.

At the ceremony today, more than 200 Department of Defense members and officials, donors, special guests, and recovering troops and their family members helped cut the ribbon and tour the grounds of the new center. Check out the photos above from the event!

USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda, Md., to Open Next Week

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BETHESDA, Md.-The culmination of years of work is just one weekend away.

The ribbon will officially be cut Tuesday at the USO Warrior and Family Center at Naval Support Activity Bethesda - the home Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. More than 100 Department of Defense officials, donors, special guests, and – of course – recovering troops and their family members will attend.

The center – which is the sister structure to the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir, Va. – will be a much-needed home away from home for wounded, ill and injured troops and their families and caregivers.

Check out the photos above, take a look at the work this of our generous partners - like A. James Clark and Northrop Grumman – who made the building possible and see this item on the NFL Sports Lounge we published earlier this week. And don’t forget to check USO.org on Monday and Tuesday for coverage of the opening.

–USO Story Development