USO Volunteer Initiative
by Juan Chavez
As our nation observes the USO’s 75th anniversary of service to our nation’s military this year, it presents an opportunity for our Chapter to rededicate our efforts in support of USO activities here in Fayetteville and Fort Bragg.
The CFC Board of Directors has been exploring ways of getting more of our chapter members actively involved in service projects in support of our military and their families here at Fort Bragg with the goal of promoting chapter cohesion, esprit de corps, and a sense of purpose and self-fulfillment.
The only chapter members who are actively engaged in chapter activities on a regular basis are a small number who serve on the board of directors and special staff, plus a dozen or so USO volunteers. We have not had much success in encouraging the other 95% of our members to get involved other than attending an occasional meeting now and then. Other MOAA chapters have undertaken projects such as adopting a VA health facility or nursing home, a military museum, and the like, to get their members actively engaged in a chapter-sponsored endeavor.
USO volunteerism is by no means new to our chapter, since the USO center at the Fayetteville Regional Airport opened in November 2011 a small number of our chapter members (11 to 14) have volunteered their services as USO stewards at the airport lounge. The number has remained relatively constant, with only 12 currently serving. We would like to inject new energy into this program by perhaps increasing that number to 50 or more; not unrealistic when one considers that we have close to 300 members, plus approximately 250 spouses. (Approximately 50% of our current volunteers are husband-wife teams.)
The Fayetteville Airport USO Center is behind security on the second floor of the airport. The center is 100% operated by volunteers who have gone through the badging process and are dedicated to keeping the center open, available and a comfortable center for our traveling military and their families. At this time, the USO needs dependable volunteers who are willing to commit to at least 8 hours per month serving in the center. There is also a dire need for volunteers to work at the Fort Bragg USO Center located in the Soldier Support Center at Fort Bragg.
If you are interested, please complete the initial steps at http://www.volunteers.uso.org/ and then, email Beverly Jackson at Send email to get your application process moving forward. Please let Beverly know that you are a member of the Cape Fear Chapter, MOAA.