Volunteers Keep Spirits High (and Somewhat Dry) During USO Kandahar Flash Flood Cleanup

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When you deploy to the desert, flooding isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Still, a group of USO volunteers and staff bailed out USO Kandahar from a messy situation over the weekend when flash flooding filled some of the center’s rooms with ankle-high water.

“We had a great group of volunteers that were quick to help us get all the furniture and boxes upstairs and to the theatre, which was higher ground and less likely to be affected by the water,” USO Kandahar’s Deborah Ayers wrote in an email. “Within an hour and a half, the water was about 3 inches deep in two of the back rooms, and had pushed forward about halfway through the tent. At that point, the tent had been cleared out except for the volunteers, who went out front to assess the damage.

“[USO Kandahar] has experienced floods almost every year, so this was somewhat expected, and thanks to the amazing cooperation and coordination of the volunteers and staff we got away with minimal damage and we’re up and running again!”

USO’s Wearing O’ the Green

St. Patrick’s Day is just for the Irish? Not at USO Centers around the world, where Troops, staff, and volunteers celebrated their Irish heritage (real or imagined!) with refreshments, entertainment, and a jig or two. Check out some pictures from this week’s celebrations…

On March 16th, 2010, the USO Warrior Center hosted a Pre-St. Patty's Day celebration. The wounded warriors enjoyed a wonderful performance by the Tir na nOg Dancers. The dancer's ages ranged from 7-17 years old. During the delicious home cooked Irish dinner the wounded warriors were entertained by an Irish band from Dublin, Ireland named, Bog O' the Lough. This was a great night and the 100 wounded warriors in attendance had a great time. Several wounded warriors stated they had a great time letting loose and celebrating Irish style!

USO and MRW at Camp Virginia co-hosted our annual St. Patrick’s Day party on . . . St. Patrick’s Day (17 March)! The Dusty Room was beautifully decorated for the occasion in numerous shades of green. Partygoers played Toss the Gold Coin, Pin the Shamrock on the Leprechaun, and Musical Chairs. We held a raffle and provided chips, dips, green O’Doul’s, and a beautiful and delicious cake. Everyone in attendance had a brilliantly good time.

The CASF USO staff hosted a St Patty's day dinner for approximately 50 members of the CASF staff on March 17, 2010. The staff joined in by cooking fresh reuben sandwiches and making rootbeer floats We offered goodies such as Irish stew, shepherds pie and dessert right here in the USO. We played pin the leaf on the shamrock for a $50 USO tour voucher. The deployed staff here do not have a kitchen in their rooms or family here with them. We try to make sure they know they are appreciated and well fed. If we can help them to feel at home for even a moment we have done our job well.