The USO asked its volunteers to send us their stories. And while we received a ton of great entries, we’re declaring Christa Summers of USO Tampa Bay as the winner of our National Volunteer Week story contest. Here’s her USO Moment:

EMC_logoI have been a volunteer for the USO Tampa Bay since we moved and my husband was deployed. I have attended homecomings for many soldiers and sailors, joyfully welcoming them back while knowing my daughter and I had to wait even longer until my husband came home. When it was finally our turn, USO Tampa Bay helped me surprise my 11-year-old daughter in a huge way.

My daughter knew I welcomed home soldiers with the USO, but she’d never attended, so I asked if she wanted to see what it was like this time. She was excited. I told her we were going to welcome one soldier in particular because he didn’t have any family that would be there. When we arrived, there was a big crowd of USO volunteers holding signs dressed in red, white and blue. As we waited, a reporter walked up and asked what we were waiting for and my daughter explained the situation. The reporter asked her some questions about why she would come for a welcome home for some one she didn’t know. She said that she didn’t want him to feel left out without family there. So it was a complete surprise to my daughter when it was my husband that walked out of the terminal. All of the USO volunteers yelled in celebration at our family reunion.

I’m so thankful for that wonderful moment and for the people at the USO Tampa Bay for their support.