By Nick Wakeman, originally published in Washington Technology
[caption id=“attachment_3846” align=“alignright” width=“283” caption=“Sandee Cartwright, wife of Gen. James Cartwright Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, joins Elaine Rogers, Executive Director of USO of Metropolitan Washington, during a Pentagon care package event on July 2, 2010. (USO Photo by Mike Theiler)”][/caption]
Elaine Rogers has been president of the USO of Metropolitan Washington for 34 years, and during that time, she’s dealt with legendary stars and chief executives of huge corporations. She’s also helped countless soldiers and their families.
All the while, she’s led an organization that continually adapts to new demands while staying focused on an unchanging mission: supporting the members of the military and their families. She spoke recently with Editor-in-Chief Nick Wakeman about how the USO has changed and the role corporate sponsors play.
WT: What has kept you in this job for so long? Rogers: I love working with the military, and I love working with the volunteers. You get to see the good in people who want to give back and support our military.
The USO is never the same thing every day. The challenge of bringing so many people together to make something happen is the most exciting part of the job.
WT: Describe the role corporate sponsors play. How has the nature of giving changed? Rogers: Without them, the USO wouldn’t exist. We work off the generosity of the corporations who want to give back to us because, in many cases, they are supporting their customers.
It used to be they would write a check. But today, when we are in discussions about giving to the USO, we are also in discussions about how they can help us beyond that.
These folks really want to give back — and not just dollars. Most of the corporations who donate to our USO also are getting their employees involved. They want their employees at the airports, handing out care packages, or at the hospitals.
More from the USO
Jun 25, 2017
19 Photos to Remember the Korean War 67 Years After it Erupted
All too often, the Korean War -- and the veterans who fought in it -- get lost in the shuffle, but the USO wants to make sure the conflict wedged between World War II and Vietnam gets the attention that it deserves, especially on the day it began 67 years ago.
Jun 20, 2017
USO Pathfinder Helps Transitioning Military Members Chart New Course
Since 1941, the USO has strengthened military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their military service. Its introduction of USO Pathfinder is its latest extension of that commitment to the American military family.