Thank You, Mary Parry!

USO Fort Drum Director Karen Clark prepares for the center opening in front of a photo of Mary Parry, in 2008. (USO photo by Jason Cutshaw)

Who is Mary Parry?  “I think Mary Parry is one of the USO’s greatest ambassadors; sharing our story of support for the Troops better than anyone I know.  She has stories about the USO through WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the conflicts of today,” says Fort Drum USO Center Director Karen Clark.

“Mary has been with the organization since the beginning and sixty-nine years later the USO Fort Drum is honored when she stops by the Center for a special event. When Mary is at the USO Fort Drum there is mutual admiration.  She hugs or shakes the hands of Soldiers thanking them for their service, and they will shake her hand and thank her for her service also.  We are blessed to have such a dedicated and loyal USO volunteer in New York but we need additional help.  Hopefully other patriotic citizens will follow in Mary’s footsteps and will contact their local USO to volunteer.”

We know that many of your have followed in Parry’s footsteps, and her impact on the community has been tremendous.  As reported: “Nearly 20 years before her involvement with the GWNC Chamber, Mrs. Parry became active with the United Service Organizations.

“Franklin Roosevelt had said, ‘We need something for the military,’” Mrs. Parry said. “They started the USO and, in June we graduated, and six of us gals went down and figured, ‘We’re going down and dance for the soldiers.’”

Mrs. Parry moved to Watertown in 1959 where she ran the USO headquarters out of the YWCA building on Public Square.”

Thanks, Mary Parry, for all of your years of service.  And thank you to ALL of our dedicated volunteers around the globe who make sure the USO is there for our Troops and their families…Until Every One Comes Home.

Fort Drum 3rd BCT Homecoming

On Jan. 21, 2010, the USO welcomed home Fort Drum’s 3rd BCT in style after a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.  Nearly 800 soldiers and their loved ones were treated to an evening of food, entertainment and a special performance by the Fort Drum Army band.  Comedians Steve Burr and Dan Liberto brought laughs and smiles, with Johnny Spezzano of The Border 106.7 (WBDR-FM) and Whirlin’ Disc DJ’s keeping people on their feet.  The event was made possible by Alfred Weissman, longtime USO supporter and New York businessman.  Welcome home!

Soldiers relax upon returning home (USO Photo by Jason B. Cutshaw)

Soldiers relax upon returning home (USO Photo by Jason B. Cutshaw)

A Fort Drum Band drummer entertains during the event (USO Photo by Jason B. Cutshaw)

Delicious food made homecoming extra special for those returning from deployment (USO Photo by Jason B. Cutshaw)

Comedian Dan Liberto cracks 'em up during dinner (USO Photo by Jason B. Cutshaw)

There to show support were Col. David B. Haight, 3rd BCT commander, with Mr. and Mrs. Weissman, Karen Clark and Lt. Col. Jeffrey Abbott (USO Photo by Jason B. Cutshaw)

A 3rd BCT Soldier cuts loose on the dance floor with his son (USO Photo by Jason B. Cutshaw)

Comedian Steve Burr takes the stage and the laughs continue (USO Photo by Jason B. Cutshaw)

The Weissmans with the Haights and Karen Clark - thanks for making this possible! (USO Photo by Jason B. Rickshaw)