WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Joe Wilson was all smiles at last Wednesday’s Operation USO Care Package Service Project on Capitol Hill. But his reason for being there was serious.
Wilson, who served 31 years in the South Carolina National Guard before retiring as a colonel in 2003, has deep family roots in America’s armed forces.
“I’m particularly grateful to be here, not just as a member of Congress, but as a military family,” Wilson said at the event, which took place in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building. “I have four sons currently serving in the military. One is [in Afghanistan] today. So one of these packages could easily end up with him.”
The seventh-term Republican from South Carolina’s 2nd District praised the work he’s seen the USO do for troops and families not only overseas, but also in his home state. USO of South Carolina opened a new center in the Columbia Metropolitan Airport in 2010, and will be unveiling updates to that center on Friday.
“I’m just such a fan of USO,” he said. “As I travel the country, as I travel the world – beginning in my home community in Columbia, South Carolina – we have a USO canteen at the airport. It’s the most prominent location in the airport and we are very grateful, particularly with the trainees coming into Fort Jackson, [that] they are welcomed by USO right away.
“It shows the appreciation of the warriors who maintain our freedom.”
–Story by Eric Brandner, USO Director of Story Development