Your USO at Work: The Newsletter of the USO
(Issue 12, Dec. 2010)
USO Center Opens in Las Vegas
THE USO RECENTLY opened a new 2,380-square-foot facility at Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport, which is expected to serve more than 55,000 troops and family members stationed in, and transitioning through, the Las Vegas area each year.
While reflecting the personality of the city, the new center offers the comforts military members and their families have come to expect from the USO including high-definition televisions, a movie theater, snack bar, and lounges filled with 20 laptop and computer stations offering Wi-Fi connectivity. Troops will also enjoy a video gaming area with Xbox® and Sony PlayStation® consoles.
Legendary entertainer and Las Vegas icon Wayne Newton and Nevada Senator John Ensign joined USO President Sloan Gibson at the ribbon-cutting.
“We are thrilled to open this center at McCarran International Airport to support service members and their families,” Gibson said. “Four-and-a-half months ago, USO Las Vegas was an empty first-class lounge for travelers, but now, it is a first-class lounge for our first class military. Thank you to the Las Vegas community for helping make this center a reality.”
USO Las Vegas was made possible by the generous support of the Las Vegas Community, the Nevada Congressional Delegation, Sands Corporation, the Clark County Board of Commissioners, and McCarran International Airport officials.
* * *
At Home in Our Hearts
AS WE DECORATE trees, wrap presents, and celebrate the holidays, let us not forget the thousands of troops deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other overseas locations who are left only to quietly remember the food and fellowship this holiday season brings. Separated by miles and mission from their loved ones, our troops continue their selfless service in defense of the liberties we hold dear. Now is the time for us to let America’s bravest citizens know that they will forever be At Home in Our Hearts. Visit USO.org to read USO holiday stories from around the world.
* * *
USO Okinawa’s “MacGyver”
SEIFUKU KINA may be an electrician at heart, but he’s really a jack-of-all-trades.
Kina’s history with the USO dates back to an early 1970s friendship between the director of USO Okinawa and the director of the Awase Golf Course. USO Okinawa was in need of a part-time electrician, and Kina was recommended as the right man for the job.
In 1973, Kina was hired full time by the USO to take care of all nine centers then operated by USO Okinawa in Japan. His job involved much more than making sure the lights worked in each of those centers, however. He also handled all of the maintenance projects and continues to do so at the four centers that currently exist in Okinawa.
“He can do anything,” said Yoshie Dunning, a USO Okinawa staff member. “One of his most incredible accomplishments is that he made a freezer. He has also built rooms and a kitchen, laying the pipes for water and the electrical lines himself. He evens fixes cars, whatever we ask him to do.”
Kina’s can-do attitude has served him and the USO well for 37 years. Dunning said she’s never heard him say he can’t do something. He appreciates the organization and his fellow employees, often offering his help and advice outside of the realm of his job.
“He is not only a hard worker, but he has a great spirit and personality,”Dunning said. “He always finds a way to solve problems. As an employee and skilled worker, we learn a lot from him. He is truly a big asset for the USO.”
How does Kina feel about his career with USO Okinawa? He appreciates his colleagues’ confidence in him and looks forward to working with them for some time to come.
“I’ll be here as long as the USO needs me,” Kina said.
* * *
The Military Bowl
CITING ITS OVERWHELMING desire to continue supporting Americans who protect our freedom, Northrop Grumman has become the presenting partner of the national capital region’s college bowl game in Washington, D.C.
“The new Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman benefiting the USO, will support the excellent work of that organization, which does so much for our brave men and women in uniform, and their families,” said Wes Bush, CEO and president, Northrop Grumman Corporation.
In its third year, the Military Bowl was formerly known as The EagleBank Bowl. EagleBank continues to offer support as the D.C. Bowl Committee’s official bank.
“Since its inception, the mission of our Bowl Committee team is to support the efforts of our service men and women defending our country both at home and abroad, and to enhance our wonderful Washington, D.C., communities,” said bowl chairman Jeffrey S. Fried. “It is an absolute honor to welcome Northrop Grumman as our lead partner working alongside the internationally recognized USO.”
The Military Bowl, featuring East Carolina University and the University of Maryland, will be played December 29, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Additional information on tickets and bowl-week activities can be found at www.MilitaryBowl.org.
* * *
WWE’s Tribute to the Troops
FOR THE EIGHTH year in row, WWE Superstars are bringing their special brand of entertainment to our troops and their families.
On December 18 at 9 P.M. EST, WWE, in conjunction with NBC, will honor U.S. service members with an hour-long “WWE Tribute to the Troops.” Presented by SlimJim, the special will chronicle WWE’s trip to Fort Hood, Texas, to visit with troops and their families. It will culminate in a concert for nearly 350,000 military personnel and civilians featuring the Superstars, Divas, Diddy-Dirty Money, Trace Adkins, Cedric the Entertainer, and Modern Family’s Ariel Winter.
The event, which has become an annual tradition, is WWE’s way of recognizing the nation’s troops and thanking them for their service. And just to make sure they don’t forget how much they’re appreciated, SlimJim is donating $500,000 worth of product to the USO -- beneficiary of the tribute -- for distribution to deployed service members.
Also: Read an interview with WWE Divas superstar Kelly Kelly.
* * *
- Track Santa’s journey via NORAD starting December 1 to Christmas Eve.
- On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was signed.
- The Boston Tea Party occurred December 16 in 1773.
- Voice Avenue performs at ShoWare Center, Seattle, Washington, December 19. Download their military-themed holiday song at www.OperationStar1.com.
- December 21: Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders continue their tradition of visiting troops for the holidays by traveling to Korea.
- Ring in the New Year watching the Fiesta Bowl with a special message from our troops overseas and Tostitos on January 1.