When it comes to helping wounded warriors recover, the USO is always trying to fill in the gaps.
The two USO Warrior and Family Centers on the military hospital campuses at Bethesda, Maryland, and at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, have developed a suite of complementary and alternative healing programs for recovering wounded warriors.
“At the USO Warrior and Family Centers we are able to offer a variety of wellness programs — not only through acupuncture, yoga, massage, Reiki and reflexology — but also in arts, writing, cooking, gardening, and more,” said Ashy Palliparambil, a program specialist for USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore. “There’s a plethora of options for the service members to choose from and having those options there for them lets them choose for themselves what works for them.”
Most of the wellness programming is serviced through two partnered nonprofits. Veteran-operated There and Back Again offers acupuncture, yoga and alternative healing retreats where recovering troops can find what works for them, while Cause offers Reiki, massage and reflexology.
“A lot of the recovering service members are either staying in the hospital or in the housing near the hospital,” Cause Program Director Sarah Marshall said. “They can either walk from their house or they can walk from the hospital — it’s maybe a five-minute walk tops — and the USO has everything they need.”
“Partnering with the USO and the hospital and being a private organization, they can come in on a walk-in basis or schedule an appointment in times when they are waiting for an appointment,” There and Back Again Program Manager Natasha Glynn said. “That fills the gap … when they feel like they may want to try something new or different in between.”
More from the USO
Feb 25, 2020
Military Spouses Say ‘Yes’ to a Special USO Coffee Connection Live with TLC’s Monte Durham
Monte Durham of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta” is synonymous with all things weddings, fashion and southern charm. But did you know he also has a special connection with the U.S. military and the USO?
Feb 24, 2020
Here's How The First USO Centers Were Created
This was the plan in early 1941: America would provide aid and some comforts of home for its swelling military ranks. The government would build and lease buildings and citizens would staff and fund centers through the newly formed USO. It happened that way... some of the time.
Feb 21, 2020
How One Deployed Soldier Found a Way to Surprise His Active-Duty Son, Half a Continent Away
When this father-son duo simultaneously deployed to different European locations in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the last thing anyone expected was for the father to surprise his son at his promotion ceremony half a continent away.