We love getting dispatches from the field, especially from our USO Centers that support Troops who are far, far from home.  Like Camp Virginia, in Kuwait - this USO Center never fails to amaze with their innovative programs, events, and activities.  We take a moment to share a few of our favorites from this month…

CakeCamp Virginia held a Black History Month/United Through Reading celebration with a beautiful cake and inspiring speech by SFC Areka Brown of the 90th HRC.

SFC Brown spoke movingly about the important contributions of African Americans throughout the history of the United States and the U.S. military.  Afterward, she cut the amazing cake (seen at right with SFC Brown), which was enjoyed by the permanent parties and transient troops in attendance.

Sock PuppetsNothing says fun in the desert like…sock puppets?  But how cool is this: on 8 February, USO at Camp Virginia held their first “Sock Puppets for the Sick” arts and craft event.   And all of the puppets were donated to a children’s hospital!

The USO supplied buttons, felt, ribbon and markers for the over 35 creative puppets.  As Duty Manager Bonnie Bachenheimer wrote us, “Socks ‘n stuff + inventive and caring troops = smiling young patients.”

Finally - and just when you thought they couldn’t top the cake and puppets - USO at Camp Virginia hosted a concert featuring Celtic Aire, a musical group composed of the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants.  Members of Celtic Aire are Technical Sgts. Joseph Haughton, Julia Brundage, and Emily Lewis, and Master Sgt. Eric Sullivan, all seen below.

Celtic AireAs Bachenheimer explains, “We were initially somewhat bewildered because we never previously had this type of group entertain at the USO.  However, it took less than one song for Celtic Aire to win over just about everyone inside the Center. The group played Irish folk songs and dance music, American Blue Grass and country, drinking tunes and bar ditties.  Between the jigs and sing-alongs, the jokes and stories, their show seemed much shorter than the 75 minutes they played.”  Awesome!

Thanks to the staff and volunteers at USO Camp Virginia for sharing these amazing stories with us.  And if your loved one has spent any time at the USO Center there, let us know!  We love to hear YOUR stories, too.