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USO: Something to be thankful for …

co-uso-dogtags.gifOn a Tuesday morning, during my personal devotions of reading, I entered into further meditation’s with prayer. I began this phase with gratitude and expressed my thought thus; I am grateful for the USO. Yes, the USO. Challenged with consoling and supporting our service members and their families.

The following is a story of how the USO volunteers, people like you and me, give comfort and assistance to our men and women in uniform.

Problem solving is also part of Patty Little’s duties as a USO volunteer. Two days before Thanksgiving last year, she pulled out all the stops to help a young enlisted airman who found himself stranded at DFW International Airport.

The airman’s child was scheduled to have brain surgery after Thanksgiving, but his emergency leave orders had come through too late. He couldn’t get back home to Honolulu.

Patty called her husband, an American Airlines pilot. After making a few phone calls, Bob Little realized the only way to get the airman home during one of the busiest travel days of the year was to use his employee travel privileges to purchase a ticket to Honolulu.

“It was the only way to get him on the next flight back home in such a short time,” said Bob Little. “So, three hours from the time Patty first called me, the airman was on an American Airlines Boeing 767 headed back to Hawaii, sitting in first class. I also arranged and paid for the airman to fly back to DFW the following week at the end of his emergency leave. His son’s surgery went well, and he was headed back to the Middle east the first week in December.”

— Military Officer Magazine, October 2007

In these days of war and the movement of our troops and their families, there is a higher than usual demand for services from the USO. This organization with its mission of providing special care now needs our gifts to continue their outstanding support of our troops and their families.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, and enter this season of gratitude, consider the gift of your support for the USO. Financial donations may be mailed to USO, Department WS, P.O. Box 96860, Washington D.C., 20090-6860

Note: Patty Little began volunteering at the DFW International Airport shortly after it opened three years ago. Every Tuesday morning you can find her at the USO serving drinks and sandwiches, directing service members to the cyber cafe or to free cellphones they can use, or helping them to select books to read to their children back home as part of the United Through Reading Military Program. This program enables service members who are waiting for their plane to read children’s books on camera; the video is burned to a DVD and mailed free of charge to the service member’s children back home.

Rev. Charles Moreland
Rev. Charles Moreland
Rev. Charles Moreland, retired, has lived in Clarksville for seven years and holds great pride in his adopted city and its people. His one objection in Tennessee is the Hall law of taxes on dividends and savings. Charles served in the U.S. Army Chaplaincy from 1966-1986, retiring to serve as a United Methodist pastor near Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He serves on the Boards of Directors for the ARP, Roxy Theater and MCDP. Though retired, he is a regular speaker at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. His five grandchildren, ages two to thirteen years, live in Evansville, Indiana. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War and served in Germany and Korea while on active duty.

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