Mary Nelson Adams added one more milestone to her USO volunteer career on Friday. But before she said goodbye to everyone else, she needed to see off a few more service members.
Adams, 79, waved goodbye to nearly two dozen Iraq-bound soldiers at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia, before receiving her own ceremonial sendoff. She retired from 12 years of volunteering for the USO of Georgia after a career of bidding farewell or welcoming home nearly 300,000 service members from the recent wars. Her dedication led her to be named the first worldwide USO Volunteer of the Year in 2008.
“Each man and woman in a uniform is our freedom,” Adams told the Savannah News. “I can go home and get in a clean, warm bed each night and they can’t.”
Adams also received citations from military officials on site at the base’s Truscott Air Terminal.
“She has really [helped service members] in a tangible way,“ USO of Georgia CEO Mary Lou Austin said.
More from the USO
Oct 16, 2018
He Stays at Home With Their Two Boys While She Serves in Afghanistan
Former Air Force Major Brad Eychner has no illusions about his important role as a stay-at-home dad and military spouse. Learn how he came into this role and how he takes care of their two young boys while his wife is deployed.
Oct 12, 2018
7 Things to Cheer On The Navy’s Birthday
October 13 is the U.S. Navy’s 243rd birthday! Originally established during the Revolutionary War in 1775, the Navy has played a central role throughout history and today, it continues its mission of maintaining the freedom of the seas. Here are seven reasons to cheer the Navy’s birthday!