On their Facebook page today, USO Basra is celebrating their volunteers with “Thank You’s” and a treat at the front desk. In that spirit of gratitude, we want to extend a special thanks to those volunteers and everyone else at COB Basra for pulling together in the wake of a building fire - cause by a rocket launch - that resulted in destruction of property, but thankfully no serious injuries.
Fifteen occupants lost all of their possessions in the fire, but - as Maj. Michael Cobb, the executive officer for Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, told Staff Sgt. Nathaniel Smith, 1st Inf. Div., USD-S PAO for Blackanthem News - people and organizations from across the base quickly mobilized to meet the needs of the displaced individuals.
The USO immediately stepped up, providing whatever they could from the PX to augment the items that were destroyed.
“I’m hoping that by me taking care of that little nuisance for them then it will take that little burden off,” Valerie Burnham, the Center Manager for Basra, told Staff Sgt. Smith. Burnham, a 24-year veteran who retired from the U.S. Navy last year, said her own service ingrained in her a sense of responsibility to help others.
“You see people in trouble, you want to do something about it,” she said. “It’s my human nature now, after being in the military for so long.”
Thank you, Valerie, and all of your staff and volunteers, and to everyone else at COB Basra who turned a tough situation into something that shows the best of the human spirit. Stay safe, and we’ll see you back home soon…
More from the USO
Nov 16, 2016
‘You Just Feel at Peace’: How USO North Carolina - Jacksonville’s Beirut Room Serves as a Space for Reflection and Healing
In light of the deep impact the 1983 Beirut bombing had on the Jacksonville community over the years, the USO center, with help from Lowe’s Home Improvement, created a special room in its center to honor the victims, survivors and family members affected by the bombing. The space – known as the “Beirut Room” by center staff and volunteers – features a granite wall monument, stained glass angels and several other photos and mementos memorializing those killed in the bombing.
Nov 16, 2016
USO Opens Wellness Focused Center on Joint Base San Antonio
After 75 years of welcoming service members home, the USO received a homecoming of its own. After a grand opening ceremony on Nov. 10, USO San Antonio staff and volunteers officially welcomed guests into the new, state-of-the-art USO San Antonio center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.