Our Volunteers are the Best!

It may be National Volunteer Week stateside, but our USO Centers in Southwest Asia are extending that celebration overseas by recognizing their volunteers, too!  Here are some stories from the field…

National Volunteer Week in Full Swing at Ali Al Salem

To kick off National Volunteer Week the staff at Ali Al Salem (AAS) just so happened to be planning their quarterly volunteer recognition event. This time it was a day of fun in the sun, a pool party.

Duane DeVorak, AAS’s Volunteer Coordinator, planned the event over the past three months.  “I think every USO employee knows how valuable our volunteers are. That’s why I wanted to plan something to recognize them and give back to them,” said DeVorak.

The Rock Air Force Base right next door has a swimming pool and volunteers did nothing but enjoy themselves throughout the day.  “This was a much needed break from everything we have going on right now,” said Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Kenora Drake, a USO Volunteer. “I can’t believe they did all this for us.”

“We had great food, give-a-ways and all kinds of pool toys for everyone, said Cindy Glenn, Assistant Volunteer Coordinator. “It seemed like everyone had a great time and really enjoyed themselves.”  In an effort to unite the centers here in Kuwait, DeVorak invited the volunteer coordinators and the top volunteers form Camp Virginia and Camp Buehring.

Volunteers from Ali Al Salem, Camp Buehring, and Camp Virginia enjoy a pool party thrown at Rock Force Air Base in honor of their efforts.

Baghdad USO Army and Air Force Volunteers Surpass the 150 Hour Mark!

Baghdad USO would like to congratulate SSG Shaina Newton assigned to TF28th CSH, Sather AB Iraq; her home unit is Bravo Company 28th CSH Fort Bragg, NC and her hometown is Shreveport, Louisiana. Also we would like to thank SMSgt David Sopshier assigned to 447 ELRS Sather AB Iraq; his home unit is 96 LRS Eglin AFB FL, and his hometown is Charleston, SC.

They both started volunteering in January 2010 and are eager volunteers who display a special desire and responsibility for their duties, learning new programs, and volunteering for additional tasks without hesitation. They are valued members of our USO team and consistently exceed the normal  expectations. We are very proud of their work here at USO Baghdad. Check out the pictures of Shaina and Dave!

SSG Shaina Newton and SMSgt David Sopshier celebrate 150 volunteer hours each!

Celebrating Volunteers AND Earth Day During a Water Shortage

And finally, Baghdad SO has been experiencing a water shortage and one of its many volunteers is helping out by recycling the water that is left behind from people passing thru BIAP and we are using it to mop and keep the USO buildings clean instead of going to the faucet to fill up. Below is a picture of Youssefian Parker doing his part and he is also rapidly approaching 1000hrs as a volunteer here at BIAP. THANK YOU PARKER!

Volunteer Youssefian Parker helps conserve water during a shortage at BIAP.

Operation Proper Exit IV in Photos

OPE IV Baghdad

Participants of Operation Proper Exit IV pose with the USO logo and USO staff at Camp Sather AB USO, Baghdad. (USO Photo by Rick Kell)

Center Manager Terry Benson welcomes participants from Operation Proper Exit IV to Camp Sather AB USO, Baghdad, including Rick Kell (center), of the Troops First Foundation. (USO Photo by Richard McCarty)

OPE VI Baghdad

Participants in Operation Proper Exit IV meet the staff and receive orientation at Camp Sather AB USO, Baghdad. (USO Photo by Richard McCarty)

OPE IV Baghdad

Duty Manager Richard McCarty and Center Manager Terry Benson talk with a participant of Operation Proper Exit IV, at Camp Sather AB USO, Baghdad. (USO Photo by Rick Kell)

More than two-hundred soldiers turned out to greet six wounded warriors participating in Operation Proper Exit as they made a stop in Camp Prosperity, Feb. 2, as part of their seven day tour of the forward operating bases in Iraq. Prosperity is currently home to a number of units charged with the administration and security of the International Zone who welcomed being given the opportunity to thank those who came before. (Photo courtesy of the Texas Army National Guard.)

Representatives of the many units actively working on FOB Prosperity, including the 336th Military Police Battalion, 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and 571st MP Battalion, stood ready to welcome the return of six soldiers wounded during their tours in Iraq as part of Operation Proper Exit. The program brings wounded soldiers back to Iraq as part of their healing process and is run through the USO and the Troops First Foundation. (Photo by Texas Army National Guard 1Lt Darryl Frost)