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USO Indiana's Spa Days Pamper Camp Atterbury Troops

Monday, November 05, 2012

By Christian Pelusi 

The USO prides itself on knowing the needs of our nation’s troops and providing the care and support that meets those needs. At USO Indiana, the staff and volunteers wanted to give servicemen and women treats -- or in this case “treatments”-- they may never have thought they needed.

“We know that while ‘in country,’ the amount of physical contact [troops receive] is limited to mostly, ‘a haircut and a handshake,’” said Susan Sears, who is an Indiana Statewide USO committee member and works for Indiana University Health as Clinical Informatics Coordinator. “We wanted to be able to pamper our troops.”

So four times a year, USO Indiana and 50 volunteers offer massages, manicures, pedicures, facials, eyebrow and lip waxing for Camp Atterbury and if you think rough and tough troops are above treatments generally considered to be more feminine, think again.

“At first, some of the males are a bit nervous about participating in some of the treatments such as a pedicure, but about two minutes into the treatment, they are putty in the hands of the technician,” Sears said. “All it takes is one person to break the ice and it is ‘game on!’”

Sears estimated that over 1,200 troops have taken advantage of the eight Spa Days that have taken place with more to come, thanks to the generous support from businesses like Red Bull and the helpful hands of volunteers from Aveda Fredric’s Institute in Indianapolis, Harrison College and independent massage therapists.

“The troops at Camp Atterbury are, for the most part either about to be deployed to or returning from harm’s way,” Sears said. “Those about to leave are given a last opportunity for some pampering and relaxation that may be hard to come by in their new location. Those returning from a deployment need that special attention and relaxation as they transition back to the states. The look on the troops’ faces as the stress melts from their faces while they are attending a Spa Day event is the reason I and the Statewide Events’ committee continue to put on the event.”

Time and again, Sears is thrilled by the troops’ enthusiasm for the event and she points to the addition of a waxing station a few events ago as an example.

“We thought that the females may like a touch-up before leaving or definitely on returning from a deployment. As it turned out, the males were the ones who were lining up for that service. Apparently, it is not ‘manly’ to be caught working on your unibrow with a pair of tweezers, but to have unruly eyebrows tamed by a skilled student is just fine … especially when surrounded by your buddies who have their iPhones out, snapping pictures.”

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Donate today to support our troops this Veterans Day during the USO’s "Grant a Wish for Our Heroes" campaign. 

Federal employees can help the USO fulfill its mission to support troops and their families though the 2012 Combined Federal Campaign. Please designate #11381. 

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