By Sandi Moynihan and Eric Brandner
SEATTLE—It started because of a simple request.
Bob Harris first began volunteering at the USO Northwest Seattle-Tacoma International Airport center in 2013. Shortly after he started, he was asked if he’d be interested in picking up donated bananas and bringing them to the airport center once a week. It wasn’t long after his first delivery that Bob realized the donations runs had earned him a new nickname.
“[I overheard two volunteers] talking about the new guy [me],” Harris said. “[One] said, ‘Oh you mean ‘Banana Bob?’ … And it stuck.”
You can send a message of support and thanks directly to service members via the USO’s Campaign to Connect. Your messages will appear on screens at USO locations around the world.
Stories in this Series
Jul 20, 2016
'We’re Here for the Soldiers’: How One Volunteer Couple Answered the Call to Serve at USO Fort Hood
Anne Cosper always wanted to volunteer at the USO. So when her daughter, who currently serves in the U.S. Army, was reassigned to Fort Hood – only an hour drive from her Georgetown, Texas, home – she and her veteran husband, Rick, decided it was the perfect opportunity to get involved.
Jul 18, 2016
Meet ‘Sauerkraut’ Dean: Creator of the USO SeaTac Special
Dean Quigley knew pretty quickly that something was missing. The 92-year-old started volunteering at USO Northwest’s Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Center in 2003. Once he got acquainted with the food kitchen area, he realized there was an important ingredient absent from the hot dog bar: sauerkraut.
Jun 13, 2016
'I Can’t Quit': Why One Wounded Army Vet is Running a Marathon to Benefit USO Alaska
Growing up in Duluth, Minnesota, Revak dreamed of running Grandma’s Marathon, a race that's finish line was near his front door. But a 2006 injury in Iraq left him wondering if he'd be able to run again at all. On June 18 -- thanks to a a special, custom-made orthotic he received last year -- he'll finally get his chance. And he's doing it to benefit USO Alaska, an organization he shares a unique bond with, dating back to the days after his injury.
Mar 22, 2016
Meet Chewy: USO of North Carolina’s Ambassadog
With roughly 100,000 miles, two cross-country trips and countless charity rides under their belts — including several rides benefiting the USO of North Carolina — Chewy the Ambassadog and his Army veteran owner Butch Ewing have quite the following.