USO Yokota Provides Support to the Military in Japan with a Team of Leading Ladies

By Senior Airman Trevor Gordnier

Serving and supporting the needs of a military community overseas with only three employees is no small feat, but luckily, with three capable women at the helm, USO Yokota does just that.

One of these leading ladies, Tempus Terns, a USO operations specialist, has been serving the community for three years. Terns describes herself as upbeat and positive. As a USO operations specialist, Terns has quite the personality.

“My main job is managing the volunteers; so everything from when people first sign up to volunteer, all of the interviews, all of the training, and getting people signed up for shifts,” Terns said. “The volunteers are really where my heart lies in my job.”

From managing volunteers to building communities, Terns’ work at the USO began from a conversation while volunteering at the Red Cross.

“Someone walked in just to see someone else who worked there. We started talking about how difficult it was to find jobs for [military] spouses and she said the USO is hiring. I applied and ended up getting the job, which was awesome! It felt like everything just lined up that day.”

Since joining the USO, Terns has built strong connections with her coworkers. Jessica Meadows, a USO field program manager, considers the current USO team a family.

“Tempus is a super fun charismatic coworker,” Meadows said. “She is a one-of-a-kind firecracker and I love her to pieces. I think the three of us work really well together. We balance each other out, where one is weak the other is strong. We work better as a team of three than individually. Our dynamic is very strong and we’re like a family.”

Adapting USO Support to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Terns is thankful to still have her position at the USO despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

“When your mission is connection and people can’t physically be together, it becomes very difficult. We completely modified all programing to a virtual platform during COVID,” she said. “Our center also had two of the most popular virtual programs that were shared … during the pandemic: ‘Pump and Ponder,’ and 'Story Time with Tempus.'”

Terns sought to solve the community needs created by the pandemic and did so with the help of the USO’s volunteer base.

“'Pump and Ponder’ was a Facebook live event that we would do,” Terns said. “Once every other week we would have a certified personal trainer, who was also one of our volunteers, teach a half-hour fitness class. At that point the gym was open, but all of the classes were canceled.”

“'Story Time with Tempus’ is something obviously near and dear to my heart. It was really rough for parents for a really long time as far as schools being shut down. That is one that has lasted through the pandemic, we still produce it today.”

Terns’ commitment and dedication to the community can be attributed to many things, however, she gives credit to the people who raised her, her mother and grandmother.

“My mom and my nana are really the people who made me who I am today. I was so fortunate to have such strong female role models,” she said. “My mother pushed me to pursue college and follow my dreams, she was such a fantastic role model and had such a strong work ethic. That’s what I hope to pass onto my sons and daughters one day.”

Terns’ passion and commitment to the service men and women of the Yokota community are demonstrated on a daily basis through the happy customers who see her at the USO center.

- This article was originally published by dvidshub.net. It has been edited for USO.org.

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As the COVID-19 outbreak is evolving, the USO has pivoted resources across the entire global enterprise in an approach that helps care for military members and their families.

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