By Angelica Viera
My husband is in the Army, stationed stateside. We’ve been married just under two years and with the support of family and friends, I’ve been able to stay in California while he serves.
During the 2018 holiday season, a family member gave me a USO calendar for my desk at work. To be honest, I didn’t really know the true impact of what the USO does for our service men and women, but I enjoyed the happy pictures and fun facts or heartfelt stories within. So nonetheless, I hung it up.
In June 2019, my husband was all cleared to come home for a four-day weekend to celebrate a family wedding. Flights were purchased and plans were made to have a lovely homecoming, as he hasn’t been to California to see his family in over a year.
It was finally the day and I was all set to pick him up very late in the evening. Everything was falling into place, he was waiting in the terminal, ready to board, bags in hand, excited to come home when passengers were informed over the loudspeaker that a terrible storm had rolled in and until further notice, all flights were delayed until morning.
Upset by the news, we informed family and friends that our soldier’s journey home would have to wait till morning. My husband and I bounced around ideas on how to get on another connecting flight or even try a different airline all together if it meant coming home even an hour earlier.
We tried staying positive but knew that this ultimately meant being apart for one more night. My husband decided to make the best of it and find a cozy corner in the terminal to tackle some schoolwork and make his camp for the night. When he needed a break, he decided to take a walk and get something to eat.
He came across a USO location and decided to check it out. I was blown away by the service my husband received. He told me he was greeted with kindness and smiles and offered snacks to-go, refreshments and blankets. After talking with the employee and telling her his situation, she assured him that the team of USO employees was there to help and asked if there was anything they could do.
I am beyond thankful for this organization for taking care of my husband. I am well aware that the USO is so much more than calendars and snacks and blankets but in that moment, for us, for him, it meant a lot.
We are blessed that throughout his service, this was the only time we’ve needed assistance, but I know many soldiers and military families have been faced with hardships much more serious and severe when living this life.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking care of our service men and women when family and friends are out of reach.
My USO calendar continues to proudly hang from my desk and every time I look at it, I’m not only reminded of the brave men and women that defend our country, but also the men and women that support and take care of them. Thank you USO!
-The author, Angelica Viera, is an Army spouse.
More Stories Like This
Why Being a Veteran Helps This Military Spouse Support His Navy Pilot Wife
Joshua Johnson never thought he would be a military spouse, but when he met his now-wife, everything changed.
Military Spouse in Germany Finds Home Away from Home with the USO
An overseas duty station might sound like the dream, but for many military spouses, it can be an incredibly isolating and challenging experience.
More from the USO
Jan 25, 2021
From Professional Development to Home Improvement 101, MilSpouses Can Rely on the USO to Learn, Connect and Grow
Although the USO has always opened its doors to the spouses of active duty, Guard or Reserve service members, over the past decade, the organization particularly focused on offering in-person and virtual programs tailored to the unique needs of military spouses.