[caption id=“attachment_3642” align=“alignright” width=“500” caption=“USO Fort Drum Director Karen Clark prepares for the center opening in front of a photo of Mary Parry, in 2008. (USO photo by Jason Cutshaw)”][/caption]

Who is Mary Parry?  “I think Mary Parry is one of the USO’s greatest ambassadors; sharing our story of support for the Troops better than anyone I know.  She has stories about the USO through WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the conflicts of today,” says Fort Drum USO Center Director Karen Clark.

“Mary has been with the organization since the beginning and sixty-nine years later the USO Fort Drum is honored when she stops by the Center for a special event. When Mary is at the USO Fort Drum there is mutual admiration.  She hugs or shakes the hands of Soldiers thanking them for their service, and they will shake her hand and thank her for her service also.  We are blessed to have such a dedicated and loyal USO volunteer in New York but we need additional help.  Hopefully other patriotic citizens will follow in Mary’s footsteps and will contact their local USO to volunteer.”

We know that many of your have followed in Parry’s footsteps, and her impact on the community has been tremendous.  As Newzjunky.com reported: “Nearly 20 years before her involvement with the GWNC Chamber, Mrs. Parry became active with the United Service Organizations.

“Franklin Roosevelt had said, ‘We need something for the military,’” Mrs. Parry said. “They started the USO and, in June we graduated, and six of us gals went down and figured, ‘We’re going down and dance for the soldiers.’”

Mrs. Parry moved to Watertown in 1959 where she ran the USO headquarters out of the YWCA building on Public Square.”

Thanks, Mary Parry, for all of your years of service.  And thank you to ALL of our dedicated volunteers around the globe who make sure the USO is there for our Troops and their families…Until Every One Comes Home.