It was a far-fetched scenario that became reality.
In 2013, Roxanna Hoffman, a former Air Force reservist, and her husband, Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Hoffman, found out they were expecting quintuplets.
A few weeks after receiving the big news, the Hoffmans, who were living at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, decided to move to Phoenix to be close to Dr. John Elliott, a physician who specializes in multiples pregnancies.
While Michael worked to arrange the cross-country move, Roxanna went ahead of her family to Phoenix and spent the rest of her pregnancy on bed rest, far from her husband and 9-year-old son, Connor. After receiving a new post at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, Michael and Connor reunited with Roxanna in Arizona just two days before the babies were born.
It was a lot of changes and excitement, all in a new place. Still, the Hoffmans were welcoming five newborns thousands of miles away from family, friends and their established support system. That’s where USO Arizona came in.
USO Arizona Center Director Tara Mogan heard about the Hoffmans, their cross-country move and their new bundles of joy at a monthly meeting with Luke Air Force case representatives. She immediately knew the USO had to help.
“It is crucial that we address the needs of the entire military family, because they are all pulling their weight to support the service member’s commitment to serve our country,” Mogan said in an email.
Mogan quickly reached out to USO Arizona volunteers Sue Fogel and Susan Armor, who helped put together two gift baskets full of handmade baby blankets, bottles, diapers, wipes, gift cards, USO onesies and other supplies.
“We sincerely hope that it lifted their spirits, … provided some financial relief and reminded them how much we appreciate and recognize their service to our country,” Mogan said. “And, we knew our USO onesies would create a super cute photo opportunity!”
Once the baskets were assembled, Mogan presented them to Michael, along with his first sergeant, at the following month’s meeting with Luke Air Force Base representatives.
“That they took the time to make us something was just special and kind of eye opening for what [the USO does] for different service members,” Roxanna said. “It was really … special because we didn’t at the time really know anybody in this area or anything.
“It’s just been a great organization.”
After receiving the baskets, the Hoffmans took photos of their newest family members sporting the green USO onesies and, several months later, snapped another USO onesie photo to show how much the babies have grown.
CORRECTION: The rank of the service member in one of the photos above was changed. He is a first sergeant.