Soldiers Give Back to Their Community Through Local Volunteering Event with the USO

By Linda Lambiotte

The Rock Island Arsenal Sergeant Audie Murphy Club (SAMC) completed its third volunteering event of the year at USO Rock Island, Illinois, on July 23, 2022.

This event was an opportunity to help the USO Rock Island center by decluttering, cleaning and reorganizing over 200 pieces of donated items in the center’s storage rooms, in order to help provide faster assistance to service members and their families both on Rock Island (RIA) and the other locations supported regionally.

“The SAMC is an all-volunteer organization which is committed to giving back,” said Master Sgt. Conchetta McCregg, U.S. Army Sustainment Command Supply Chain Operations Directorate noncommissioned officer (NCO) in charge and RIA-SAMC president.

The SAMC is an unofficial private organization inside the Army that was originally created in 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas, to honor Sgt. Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated combat soldier of World War II. Chapters of the organization soon spread Army-wide in 1994, with other installations retaining the selection process for their own NCOs. To become a member, a soldier must exemplify leadership and a personal concern for the needs, training, development and welfare of their fellow soldiers and their families.

Today, the SAMC raises money through innovative activities and projects and, at times, accepts various types of donations to support events either within the Army, the local community or both.

“The USO consists of only a few workers, and after noticing the large amount of donated items they receive from various organizations and stores, we seized the moment in providing some additional hands to assist in decluttering and organizing their storage room,” McCregg said.

Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge Escobedo, ASC command sergeant major, participated in the event with his two sons, Andree and Derek. Sgt. 1st Class Mikaela Clark, ASC provost sergeant and RIA-SAMC vice president, also joined them.

Photo credit DVIDS/Andree Escobedo

Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge Escobedo, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, participated in the Rock Island Arsenal Sergeant Audie Murphy Club’s volunteering event at USO Rock Island, Illinois with his two sons, Andree (left) and Derek.

Currently, RIA has three active SAMC members – McCregg, Clark, and Sgt. Maj. Jon Greer, G-6 sergeant major, First U.S. Army.

“The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club members consistently strive to better themselves, others and everything around them,” McCregg said.

The opportunity they had to provide service was truly a grand pleasure, she added.

“Our pride is carried through our selfless service to those on and off the installation.”

McCregg said that, as an NCO, it is important for her to be part of the SAMC because of what the club represents and how that representation coincides with an NCO’s character, civic pride and sphere of influence within the community.

“The SAMC represents NCOs who strive to not only continuously improve themselves and their soldiers, but also the families of soldiers and the local community,” she said.

According to McCregg, it is important for NCOs to seek improvement in all facets of the Army and life, which is what the SAMC does through an elite group of fellow NCOs.

“Being a part of the SAMC demonstrates the dedication and selflessness of an NCO, and directly reflects that they are a leader of character.”

Thanks to the assistance of these dedicated soldiers, the USO Rock Island center is better equipped to support all service members stationed on the island, by providing them with the comfort of a home away from home.

-This story was originally published on It has been edited for

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