Military Children Create Patriotic Artwork

A young girl points to her award winning artwork

A young girl points to her award winning artwork.

In honor of April’s ‘Month of the Military Child,’ the USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia (USO HRCV) held a unique contest to engage local children and raise awareness of the USO’s mission.

For the third year, the USO HRCV called on all school-age children in the area to compete in an art contest that turns the winning artworks into panels that will be displayed in the Richmond International Airport.

The children, ages 5 to 18, were instructed to create illustrations that incorporated a patriotic theme. On Monday, April 29, USO HRCV announced the winners of their contest. This year, winners were from Hampton, Chesterfield, Prince George, Henrico, and Hanover counties.

See the slideshow below for a look at some of the winners as they display their beautiful and patriotic creations.

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Sarah Camille Hipp, Communications Specialist

Children Illustrate their Support for Troops

A young girl shows her winning artwork at Ft. Lee.

The patriotic pictures on the walls of Ft. Lee and the Richmond International Airport are no ordinary images. Drawn by children, the artwork illustrates their support and respect for the troops that keep them safe.

In honor of April’s ‘Month of the Military Child,’ the USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia (USO HRCV) has created a unique contest to engage local children and raise awareness of the USO’s mission.

For the second year, the USO HRCV called on all school-age children in the area to compete in an art contest that uses the winning artworks to decorate the walls of USO HRCV’s two local USO centers, Richmond International Airport and Ft. Lee.

The children, ages 5 to 18, were instructed to create a patriotic artwork that incorporated the USO HRCV logo and a branch of service or military families.

Once the winning artwork was selected, USO HRCV turned the patriotic images into wallpaper for their two locations.

USO HRCV and the winning artists gather for an unveiling at Richmond International Airport.

Last week USO HRCV held unveilings for the winners at their two locations, where their patriotic art work was on display.

Surrounded by support from proud family members and even art teachers, the winners enjoyed a light meal and cake to celebrate. USO HRCV also presented the children with certificates of appreciation.

USO Director of the Richmond International Airport Center, Tricia Riggs, said the children were very excited and appreciative of the opportunity to have their artwork on display.  Riggs also received numerous calls from parents telling her how meaningful this opportunity has been for both them and their child.

One girl’s grandfather, a Navy Vet, had recently passed away. Riggs said the girl and her family were very thankful and humbled to have her artwork on display and sending a lasting message of thanks to the troops who will visit the center.

Since children are our future military members and volunteers, Riggs stressed how important it is for USO HRCV to work them. Before this event, many of the children had not heard about USO HRCV.

Now, these children know how they can help our nation’s troops, and they have an exciting experience to share with their family and friends.

“Each child left not only with a better understanding of the USO, but a new sense of pride and patriotism for their country and those who serve,” said Riggs.

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Check out USO HRCV’s Snapfish album to see more pictures of the children’s winning artwork. – Sarah Camille Hipp, Communications Specialist

United Through Reading’s Military Program Celebrates 100,000 Recordings!

USO employees (left to right) Alexandra Volp, Patrice Cameau and Director of USO Fort Eustis Mary Moyer bestow some special gifts upon the Butcher family, which includes mom Kerri, 9-year-old Alexis, and 7-year-old Rodney; Sgt Butcher is currently deployed. (USO photo by Lauren Hebert)

As we told you yesterday, Virginia Beach’s Patriotic Festival was a huge success this year, with Ride 2 Recovery rolling into town on Friday and a celebration of the 100,000th recording for United Through Reading’s Military Program.

To mark this momentous occasion, hundreds of supporters watched as a deployed father read a book on the Jumbotron to his children, who were in the audience with their mom.  He had recorded the reading at Fort Eustis and will not return home for many months.  His family was thrilled, however, to be able to see him onscreen and read along at home any time they want, through the DVD and book provided by the USO and United Through Reading.

Thanks so much to the Butcher family, for allowing us to be a part of this special family moment.  And thanks to everyone who came out to the Patriotic Festival to support the USO and our Troops!  Be sure to watch the video recording below, and let us know about your own United Through Reading experiences…

Patriotic Festival attendees watch as Sgt Butcher reads a book about dinosaurs - and completes the 100,000th United Through Reading's Military Program recording - to his family, who was sitting in the audience. (USO photo by Lauren Hebert)

Patriotic Festival a Huge Success!

Ride 2 Recovery participants show that perserverance and teamwork make all things possible, as they complete their six-day Memorial Ride, ending at the Patriotic Festival in Virginia Beach, VA.

USO Hampton Roads was thrilled to be a part of this year’s Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival.  The three-day event “is a salute and celebration of the U.S. Military.  This is a time for the Hampton Roads region…to remember the men and women of the United States Military for their heroism and their sacrifices they make for Americans.” Other sponsors included The City of Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, and Produced by Whisper Concerts.

Thousands of festival-goers enjoyed concerts, food, fun, and more, but the biggest motivator behind it all was an opportunity to say “Thank You” to those who serve.  “The largest concentration of military in the word is in Hampton Roads,” Bruce LaLonde from the USO told WAVY.com. “We are taking time to say thanks.”

Timed to coincide with the start of the festival was the final leg of the Ride 2 Recovery Memorial Challenge.  After six days of cycling through 350 miles of Virginiaroads , the 100+ riders arrived at Virginia Beach to enjoy the festivities and relax after their incredible journey.

Also part of the Festival was the 100,000th reading of United Through Reading’s Military Program, which is administered through USO Centers around the world.  We’ll have more on that milestone tomorrow, and in the meantime, enjoy the videos below that captured this fantastic weekend for the Troops!

more about “Wounded vets bike into Virginia Beach“, posted with vodpod