Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. At least that's what they said about the old Timex watches that got stomped on by elephants and frozen on the ski tips of a professional downhill racer. The lickin' USO Kandahar's SGT Richard Schuh took, however, was a little more intense. After he was attacked by small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades, he suffered shrapnel wounds to his side and elbow. During his recovery, SGT Schuh attended a "smoothie" event given by the USO at the Wounded Warrior housing, and he instantly knew he had a calling.
The very next day, Schuh, who wanted to give back to those supporting him as he convalesced, headed to the USO to volunteer. During his first week with the USO, he ran what's called a 550 Cuff event all by himself, where more than 50 people showed up to make special bracelets. He took the lead creating and organizing an NFL Fantasy Football League, promoted and ran United Through Reading® projects, and recruited other wounded warriors to volunteer. From approximately August 15 through September 3, 2011, he donated a whopping 198 hours to the USO including many 10 to 12-hour days.
There were days when Richard was in excruciating pain, yet he would refuse to take a break because he said working at the USO was a good distraction. In spite of his wounds, he was always courteous and brought out the best in everyone. He served as an inspiration to others showing them that even though you may be wounded, you are still important and vital to the mission.
Selected as Southwest Asia's Volunteer of the Year, we have a feeling that SGT Richard Schuh is going to be tickin' for a long time, lifting the spirits of all who encounter him!
Schuh will be honored along with five service member honorees at the 2012 USO Gala held November 2nd in Washington, D.C.