USO Manager of Volunteer Operations Allison Nalley introduces the USO Volunteers of the Quarter for spring 2017.
Air Force Airman First Class Joseph Travaglini | USO Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates | SWA Region
Joseph Travaglini is an all-star volunteer at USO Abu Dhabi. With a hearty, “Welcome to the USO!” Travaglini always makes everyone feel right at home from the moment they walk into the door. He is consistently praised as an “ideal volunteer” and gives every shift 100 percent.
Known as Abu Dhabi’s “Mr. Fix-it,” Travaglini is always available to repair electronics when they go on the fritz in the desert. He can repair a wide variety of electronics, saving the USO time and money. But most importantly, his ability to fix things has enabled the service members to continue to use the equipment and center without a lapse in service.
“Our center is a better place because of Travaglini,” said USO Abu Dhabi Duty Manager Christina Ambrose. “One of the most powerful impacts he has had on our center is seeing how he brings everyone together to form our own unique family. Travaglini has that ability to connect with others, making our center feel more homey with his presence.”
Airman First Class Joseph Travaglini embodies the true spirit of the USO. Volunteering is second nature to him, and he works every day to make the center a more positive place for deployed service members. He will continue to be a valuable asset to the USO community, providing the connection that our service members need while they are abroad.
Marine Corps Sgt. Phat Huynh | USO Incirlik, Turkey | Europe
Phat Huynh is an integral part of the USO Incirlik team. Huynh is a jack-of-all-trades volunteer, providing support with stocking and cleaning, running key programs and taking initiative to ensure things are done correctly and on time. Every time he walks through the door, he exudes energy, enthusiasm and a commitment to the USO’s mission.
Huynh is known for his ability to provide support when needed, especially during hectic operating hours when the center is full of guests. When asked, Center Manager Carlos Guzman said, “What need hasn’t he filled? He does it all!” Once, on short notice, he stepped up and took the lead on the Spanish Coalition Forces BBQ, taking care of the grilling and providing a meal for more than 200 service members.
“Huyhn’s background and knowledge, along with his carting attitude for others as well as his desire to succeed above all makes him a unique person.” said Bernhard Lashleyleidner, center operations manager. “No one, absolutely no one, works harder than this volunteer.”
When others see Huynh volunteer, they want to volunteer as well. He makes the task of volunteer recruitment easy by showing that volunteering is both fun and rewarding. He is a natural leader and he supports the other center volunteers. With his friendly demeanor and welcoming presence, service members can relax in the center and know they will be taken care of. USO Incirlik is lucky to have a volunteer as dedicated and passionate as him.
Retired Army Lt. Col. Alfredo Rodriguez | USO Seoul, South Korea | Pacific
Alfredo Rodriguez is a staple at USO Seoul and Korea. Rodriguez, or “A-Rod” as he is known around the center, has put in more than 400 hours in the five months he has been volunteering. It is no wonder that the USO core values that he most represents are accountability and collaboration.
When the center’s Six Star Salute Gala needed to be planned, Rodriguez stepped in and provided logistical and fundraising support. From coordinating the publicity, to ordering the plaques and printed materials, he made the event a success for the center and its constituents. Rodriguez even helped raise nearly $210,000 in the process.
“A true problem solver, he does not wait when faced with a challenge but steps up to solve it—which has come in extremely handy,” said Stephen Revere, area programs manager. “We have gone to A-Rod with many of our technical issues instead and he has solved them like a pro.”
Rodriguez is an excellent support system for USO Seoul and Korea, providing many hours of volunteering in both an administrative role and a center representative role. He never fails to smile and provides the knowledge, warmth and care that the USO has come to rely on. The USO Seoul center is a better place because he is in it.
Army Sgt. Avery Mack | USO Fort Hood, Texas | Stateside
Avery Mack is a positive role model for others at USO Fort Hood. He always strives to fulfill the USO’s mission and is always doing the right thing. Mack provides excellent customer service and support to the center and its patrons, even giving up most weekends and evening hours to help keep the center running in top shape.
Mack goes above and beyond his duty as a volunteer. When the center needed to be cleaned, instead of disrupting the guests that visit, Mack came in before the center opened to get the hard-to-reach places and clean the areas that guests frequently use. His commitment to the whole USO center experience, including keeping it looking nice, is a true testament to his work ethic.
“He is dedicated, hardworking and overcomes any obstacle that may stand in his way to make volunteering a priority,” said Kate Albaugh, USO Fort Hood’s center operations supervisor. “He understands the value of the USO and makes sure he is a positive role model to his fellow soldiers on Fort Hood.
Mack is a compassionate and friendly volunteer, offering every guest a warm welcome and smile. He keeps the atmosphere fun in the center and at special events. In short, he is a great asset to USO Fort Hood.
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.