How Mama Bear gets through the wall…

February 26, 2009 · Filed Under Deployment, One Army Mama Bear · 1 Comment 

join USO –  help other troops and their families as they travel … it’s a process so go ahead and get started  … you have to apply, interview, be accepted, get fingerprinted, have training, and then you’re ready to hit the USO. On a recent day, on the early shift there were twenty or so soldiers in the tiny USO sleeping when I arrived a little before 7:00 am … the recliners were full and a few were sleeping on the floor … all they want is a safe place where they can close their eyes. They came in all hours of the night … midnight, 4:00 am, and they poured in all morning. This shift is usually the one that is free to do cleaning … only the kitchen and the office area got cleaned on Tuesday… while the troops slept. Then we made sandwiches, coffee, bagels with cream cheese, bowls of cereal, even Ramen noodles, whatever they wanted that we had. We handed out soft drinks and snacks, cupcakes and pastry. These guys and gals are always hungry, but rarely do they ask for anything. WE have to ask them.

They’re coming from all over – going back to their bases – mainly Marine and Army, but also Navy, Air Force, National Guard.  They talked about their families and they talked about their upcoming deployments. They always seem surprised that we’re so happy to serve THEM and they respond with “Yes, M’am” or “Thank you, M’am” … always so polite … that sir or m’am. We greet them, feed them, make them comfortable and find them rides. Sometimes the base is sending a bus … most likely they have to find their own way there … the airport information desk will make announcements that there’s a soldier needing a ride to Fort Bragg or a Marine needing a ride to Lejune or Johnson. Some of them have rides coming and can take more guys. They like to eat, sleep, play video games, watch movies, get online, and sometimes talk. It’s all free …

I think of my son when I see these troops and am paying it forward for groups like Maine Troopers who greeted our guys and hosted them so well in Bangor, Maine when they were deploying. Thank you, Maine Troopers!  I’m very proud that the RDU USO has a strong committment to be open 24/7 for our traveling military. Lots of them – especially the younger guys need a place to sleep/rest between flights – lots of times that’s overnight – or MANY hours! We’re a meeting place for military families traveling  – connecting with wives/husbands/children – so they can travel together to their destination. USO is one way to  deal with ‘the wall’ … serving those who SERVE for us … there are more .

OneArmyMamaBear