USO Manager of Volunteer Operations Allison Nalley introduces the USO Volunteers of the Quarter for Summer 2017.
Army Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos | USO Camp Buehring, Kuwait | SWA Region
Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos is well known around Camp Buehring, Kuwait, for his selfless attitude and desire to support the USO and his fellow service members. He has a heart of gold and is always willing to put others first, never needing thanks for the work he does or the support he provides. Ramos is always thinking of ways to improve the center and he works to ensure that every program and project is a success.
While volunteering at the USO, Ramos noticed that there were service men and women that were not receiving care packages. He knew how important it was, especially for those traveling to remote areas. To combat this problem, Ramos started his own care package program, hosting supply drives and working with the USO to ensure that they had the right supplies for each. He collected hundreds of boxes and spread joy and comfort to his fellow service members.
“Emmanuel has provided such a level of passion towards the USO, and when Emmanuel leaves for mission, the patrons, volunteers and staff always ask when he will be back,” Duty Manager Victoria Rowland said. “We are so fortunate to have Emmanuel in our USO family. He has left an everlasting impact on us and gave us wonderful memories that we will never forget.”
Ramos is a true representation of USO’s values. He dedicates his free time to serving others through his volunteer work and his passion for serving our country inspires his fellow soldiers. He exemplifies the USO mission of helping to keep service members connected to family, home and country.
Army Spc. Kasheem Stephens | USO Grafenwoehr, Germany | Europe
Spc. Kasheem Stephens is a dedicated member of the USO Grafenwoehr team. In the seven months he’s volunteered, Stephens has become an integral part of the center, working nights and weekends to ensure that the needs are met and the service members are supported. He is reliable and has never missed a shift – even taking taxis to the center when his ride was unavailable.
He has a warm, welcoming smile that greets every service member who walks through the front door. and always makes sure every task is completed accurately and quickly. Stephens took on the daunting task of reorganizing the entire supply area, and helped the USO staff make much-needed improvements to the organization. He even recruited some help to get the job done. Because of his support, the center runs much more efficiently.
“What really stands out about Kasheem is his devotion to the USO and its mission,” said Shannon Schaad, center operations manager. “Kasheem is a quiet, confident person, with a can-do attitude. He is self-motivated, he does not stand around and wait to be told what to do. Kasheem sees what needs to be done and does it, whether it be cleaning tables or assisting guests that are new to the center. These qualities inspire and motivate other volunteers, guests, and staff members.”
USO Grafenwoehr is fortunate to have a great volunteer like Stephens. He is willing to do anything to keep the center clean and comfortable for its visitors. He has earned the trust of USO staff members and they know the center is in good hands while they are away.
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Shaundell Wright | USO Yokosuka, Japan | Pacific
Petty Officer 1st Class Shaundell Wright is as efficient as she is kind. Always offering a smile, she has a warm heart and is willing to go the extra mile to help her peers and USO visitors. She is also known for being well-organized and takes initiatives to ensure tasks are completed accurately and timely. Wright, a quartermaster in the Navy, shows excellent leadership qualities in the center, even with new or challenging initiatives.
Wright provided support to her fellow sailors and service members after the USS Fitzgerald’s tragic collision with a cargo ship in June off the coast of Japan. It was an especially difficult time for everyone, and Wright stepped in to ensure that every sailor who walked through the USO’s doors felt taken care of. No task was too big or too small, as she made sandwiches, sorted toiletries and even helped purchase needed items at the Navy Exchange. Because of her hard work, sailors offered their gratitude and personally thanked her for the peer-to-peer support she provided.
“Shaundell is a consistent, trusted, dedicated and valued volunteer for USO Yokosuka. Even with her busy plate, still manages to volunteer with USO Yokosuka and does so with such a positive attitude and a great, caring spirit,” said Kristine Fontanilla, center operations specialist. “Her recent actions in the support of the USS Fitzgerald collision have exemplified what dedication, courage, and tireless caring look like. She worked long days and nights to ensure the needs of every Fitzgerald sailor were met. Shaundell is a goal-oriented person and this trait is magnified with her volunteer work at the USO.
Wright offers excellent customer service in the center and goes above and beyond typical volunteer duties. USO Yokosuka is lucky to have a great volunteer like her.
Robert Carreras | USO Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas | Stateside
Bob Carreras is a valuable addition to the USO Dallas/Fort Worth team. He not only brings passion for the USO mission, but he also brings a wealth of IT knowledge and understanding that is vital to the success of the center. He is an efficient and hardworking individual who identifies needs in the center and works to ensure that solutions are put into place to solve the problem. When Carreras is not coming up with new and creative IT solutions, he is a calming and welcoming presence in the center, ensuring each guest receives a warm smile and the support they need.
In the past nine months, he has developed IT plans for the temporary relocation of the Dallas/Fort Worth center and worked extra nights and weekends to ensure that IT functions were not disrupted during the move. Volunteers look to him for guidance and information related to the technical functions of the center. He even created the digital signs the center uses to share information with patrons.
“Bob’s constant example exemplifies the USO’s mission statement and core values,” Volunteer Coordinator Steve Williams said. “He is a continuous source of positive energy for our guests, his co-volunteers and the staff. The success of the DFW USO is dependent on volunteers like Bob.”
His dedication to the USO is remarkable. He uses his knowledge of technical solutions to support the volunteer field, which streamlines processes. He even trained 28 shifts of volunteers how to use the equipment he set up and he works tirelessly to ensure that service members can stay connected through technology while visiting the center. Bob Carreras is a great asset to USO Dallas/Fort Worth.
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.
More from the USO
Nov 15, 2018
5 Things We Learned About Being a Military Spouse
On November 14, the USO hosted The Salute to Military Spouses, presented in partnership with Politico and Lockheed Martin. We spent a full day not only thanking military spouses for all that they do to support our service members, but also diving deeper into what it means to be a part of the military spouse community. Here are a few things we learned.
Nov 8, 2018
Take A Look Inside 3 USO Centers Around the World
During the World's Biggest USO Tour on September 12 at 8 p.m., we’ll connect live with three USO centers on U.S. military bases around the world. Find out how these three centers strengthen our service members by connecting them to family, home and country.