USO Manager of Volunteer Operations Sarah Kemp introduces the USO Volunteers of the Quarter for fall 2015.
Maj. Frances Bradley | USO OB Fenty, Afghanistan | SWA Region
With only three staff, and having the doors open 24 hours a day, USO OB Fenty relies on volunteers. Maj. Frances Bradley answered their call.
Bradley mans the front counter of USO OB Fenty five days a week from 0530 to 0830, before beginning her work day of a 12 hour shift on a forward surgical team. The early morning hours in Afghanistan are a busy time in the USO center for phones because it’s evening time for troops’ families in the United States.
Bradley makes sure the troops have a cup of coffee to start their morning off right with a call home. She does it all from making the coffee, to greeting troops and organizing supplies. She also has run a block party, holiday gatherings, and 5K runs.
“She checks on managers daily during her lunch break to make sure they get a break,” said Regina Wages, USO OB Fenty Center Manager. “When a staff member is on leave she goes that extra mile to make sure the center has coverage needed to operate all the while working crazy long hours at the hospital.”
As a senior officer in the military, Bradley is well respected throughout OB Fenty. She is a role model to other soldiers. She is respectful of every visitor to the USO center and every volunteer that works alongside her.
Bradley is an integral member of the USO OB Fenty team helping to keep the doors open when troops need to connect to home most.
Niki Reed | USO Kadena, Japan | PAC Region
Niki Reed is not only a member of the USO Kadena Volunteer Executive Committee, she is the founder as well. After receiving the USO Volunteer Satisfaction Survey Results, USO Kadena staff brain stormed how to improve the volunteer experience. Reed stepped up to the plate, and offered to form a committee.
The Volunteer Executive Committee recruits volunteers, identifies volunteers to fill vacancies in the schedule, and organizes a recognition program. The committee helps volunteers feel connected to their USO family.
Reed is also a leader for the AMC Patriot Welcome Crew that welcomes new military families to Okinawa. Her outstanding service was recognized by The Commander of the 18th Wing, Brigadier General Cornish, who personally commended Reed on her volunteerism.
Reed also received The President’s Volunteer Service Award for more than 1400 hours of service to USO Kadena.
“She is knowledgeable, personable, and eager to assist in any way she is able,” said Brent Cook, USO Kadena Center Manager.
Reed’s leadership ensures that volunteers will be happy at USO Kadena for years to come.
Sgt. Jennylys Rivera | USO Naples, Italy | Europe
“Sergeant sent me. She told me it’s the right thing for me,” is a statement echoed at USO Naples by nearly every new volunteer recruit. That sergeant is Sergeant Jennylys Rivera who is a leader in her unit and at USO Naples.
Rivera has been indispensable at strengthening USO Naples relationship with the US Army detachments at locations nearby. She collaborated with the Italian Air Force and the units at Grazzanise to arrange for the USO to bring their mobile unit to serve an American style barbecue to the troops stationed there. Thanks to her efforts more than 100 troops enjoyed an afternoon of free food and fun.
In the past year Rivera has volunteered at 40 events, including 14 in just the past three months. She shares her infectious spirit of appreciation to all fellow service members, volunteers, and Italians.
“Rivera has sat with a young soldier, encouraging them to take their liberty to get out and explore Naples and Rome; during the USO Summer Story Time, Jenny read stories in character voices and led the young military children in games; and in preparation for the USO Dodge Ball Tournament, Jenny encouraged junior and senior soldiers to join teams and participate,” said Shannon McCaulley, USO Naples Program and Volunteer Coordinator.
Rivera’s encouragement to get others involved through participating and volunteering at USO events has expanded USO Naples reach to serve our troops wherever they are.
Vera Cianciotto | USO Delaware | CONUS
Vera Cianciotto volunteers every Monday. Cianciotto volunteers with only 20 minutes notice because another volunteer couldn’t make it. Cianciotto volunteers in the middle of the night to support honor guard teams who are part of a dignified transfer for a fallen service member.
Because of her dedication to our nation’s service members who honor our fallen, Cianciotto was selected as one of only three volunteers to assist at the USO center located in the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base. Every Monday, Cianciotto cleans and organizes the center making sure everything is in perfect working order for the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations team. She has built a solid relationship with the team, and has even been invited to take part in their resiliency training and attend other functions.
One night a few months ago Cianciotto volunteered to support a dignified transfer scheduled for 0245. Due to weather, the aircraft didn’t arrive and clear customs until several hours later. Cianciotto found out the honor guard team had not eaten since 2300, so she quickly searched the center and laid out a spread of breakfast items for the team to eat once the dignified transfer was completed. Her ability to think quickly on her feet was greatly appreciated.
“Her impeccable style, sense of urgency, personality, and dedication to USO Delaware is unparalleled,” said Bill Flanders, USO Delaware Center Operations Supervisor.
Day or night, USO Delaware knows that Cianciotto will always be ready to answer the call.