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Photo Set 2

2011 USO Gala

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Photo Set #2: Gala Program

Gala attendees were treated to entertainment from comedian Carlos Mencia and country music recording artist Randy Travis along with emotional stories of the excellence and dedicated service by our Gala's honorees.

Color Guard's presentation of colors 

Color Guard's presentation of colors 

The Military District of Washington Armed Forces Color Guard takes the stage to begin the evening's festivities. 

CHaplain Capt. Johnny W. Poole, CHC, USN, delivers the evening's invocation 

Chaplain Capt. Johnny W. Poole, CHC, USN, delivers the evening's invocation. 

First Lady Michelle Obama 

First Lady Michelle Obama 

A video message from First Lady Michelle Obama is presented to the gala attendees. "From providing the comforts of home to troops on remote outposts to sending entertainers and celebrities overseas, to working with our wounded warriors and military families here at home, the USO continues to set the standard for how we as Americans show our gratitude for our troops and their families." 

Comedia Carlos Mencia 

Comedian Carlos Mencia  

A USO entertainer and USO Gala emcee, Mencia keeps the evening moving and light with his special brand of comedy. "I only wish that when I was younger I would have known the responsibility that I should have taken on and joined the military for at least 4 years and you know I'm 43 so that can't happen, but hey, if you guys start recruiting 44 year olds, I'm totally in." 

USO President Sloan Gibson 

USO President Sloan Gibson 

Gibson welcomes the guests and thanks the many supporters and corporate sponsors that make the evening possible. 

Basketball Hall of Famer Karl Malone 

Basketball Hall of Famer Karl Malone 

Malone expresses his heartfelt thanks to all who serve the country and urges continued vigilance from citizens and elected officials. 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ge. Martin E. Dempsey 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey 

Gen. Dempsey lauds the USO for its outstanding work. "I've had a great fondness for the USO for many years. And I'll tell you what, many of us in this room and all of the folks that are going to wander out here in a moment have been in and out of harm's way over the last decade and the USO has always been there for us, as they will always be there for soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guardsmen. They will." 

USO President Sloan Gibson and former Chariman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and current Uso Board of Governors Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers (Ret.) 

 USO President Sloan Gibson, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and current USO Board of Governors Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers (Ret.) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey 

Gibson, Gen. Myers and Gen. Dempsey take the stage to begin the award portion of the program. "The USO of course creates smiles and more often than not those smiles are the result of some simple act of a USO volunteer. There are countless ways volunteers support the USO but they all share in the mighty dedication of our troops and their families," Gen. Myers said. 

Gen. Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army 

Gen. Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army 

Gen. Odierno introduces USO Soldier of the Year Army Cpl. David J. Bixler. 

Army Cpl. David J. Bixler 

Army Cpl. David J. Bixler 

Cpl. Bixler received the USO Soldier of the Year Award after "distinguishing himself both on the battlefield and during his recovery from wounds he received while helping to secure his fellow soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan. 

Marine Corps Sgt. Lucas J. Chaffins 

Marine Corps Sgt. Lucas J. Chaffins 

Introduced by Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, Jr., far left, Sgt. Chaffins received this year's USO Marine of the Year Award. Sgt. Chaffins "continually distinguished himself with leadership, heroism, courage and professionalism while serving as a reconnaissance Marine in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom."

Navy EOD1 Chad R. Regelin (Parents of Chad [currently deployed]: Scott and Shirene Regelin) 

Navy EOD1 Chad R. Regelin (Parents of Chad [currently deployed]: Scott and Shirene Regelin) 

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III (holding the award) introduced USO Sailor of the Year Petty Officer Regelin's parents. Petty Officer Regelin "distinguished himself during combat operations in Afghanistan while assigned to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Three." He is currently on deployment in Afghanistan. 

 

 

Air Force Senior Airman James A. Baynard 

Air Force Senior Airman James A. Baynard 

Senior Airman Baynard accepts the USO Airman of the Year after his "support of Operation Iraqi Freedom through outstanding support and volunteer service." 

Airt Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz with USO Airman of the Year Sneior Airman James A. Baynard 

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz 

Gen. Schwartz, second from left, presents the USO Airman of the Year Award to Senior Airman James A. Baynard. 

Coast Guard AST3 Christopher R. Austin 

Coast Guard AST3 Christopher R. Austin 

Petty Officer Austin displayes the USO Coast Guardsman of the Year Award after an introduction by Coast Guard Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., second from left. Petty Officer Austin earned the honor with his "superior performance of duty while serving as a rescue swimmer during a winter rescue of a hypothermic swimmer from a capsized vessel in the pounding surf at Willapa Bay, Wash." 

2011 Service Members of the Year 

Service Members of the Year 

All award recipients and their presenters gather on the dais for a final round of applause. 

Country western recording artist Randy Travis performance 

Country western recording artist Randy Travis performance 

Travis's newest release is "Anniversary Celebration" in observation of his 25 years in music. Travis teams with other top recording artists on 17 new tracks. 

Comedian Carlos Mencia 

Comedian Carlos Mencia 

Mencia entertained the audience with tales of his USO tours and his interactions with the deployed troops. 

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers (Ret.) 

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers (Ret.) 

Gen. Myers presents the USO Volunteer of the Year to Army Sgt. Milfred Shane Williams. 

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B. Meyers, ITT Rep and USO Volunteer of the Year Army Sgt. Milfred Shane Williams 

Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers (Ret.), Senior Vice President of ITT Corporation and President of ITT Defense & Information Solutions Lt. Gen. (Ret.) David F. Melcher and USO Volunteer of the Year Army Sgt. Milfred Shane Williams 

After working 60 hours during the week as the Operating Room NCOIC at the 160th Forward Surgical Team in Miesau,Germany, Army Sgt. and USO Volunteer of the Year Award recipient Milfred Shane Williams then selflessly spends his Friday nights and weekends volunteering at the USO Kaiserslautern's Warrior Center. 

TriWest Healthcare Alliance President and CEO David J. McIntyre 

TriWest Healthcare Alliance President and CEO David J. McIntyre 

TriWest Healthcare Alliance has been a major sponsor of the USO, generously supporting the USO Gala for the past five years. McIntyre also serves as Chairman of the USO Gala Leadership Committee. 

USO President Sloan Gibson 

USO President Sloan Gibson 

Gibson prepares to present the Spirit of the USO Award to Gen. James Jones and his wife Diane. 

TriWest's David J. McIntyre, Diane Jones, Sloan Givson and Gen. James Jones pose with the Spirit of USO Award 

Spirit of the USO presentation 

From left to right, TriWest's David J. McIntyre, Diane Jones, Sloan Gibson and Gen. James Jones pose with the Spirit of USO Award. 

USO Photos by Mike Theiler

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