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Sesame Street/USO Moment Maker of the Month: Tech. Sgt. Michael Royster

Thursday, April 17, 2014

By Karen Hart  

In celebration of the six-year run of the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families tour and the USO's Every Moment Counts campaign, Sesame Street and the USO are spotlighting one service member each month who volunteered their time to create a special moment for some of our youngest heroes.

Sesame Street/USO Moment of the Maker of the Month: Tech Sgt. Michael Royster, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Q: How long have you been in the Air Force  

16 years  

Q: Where are you originally from?  

Laurel, Md.  

Q: What made you want to enlist?  

I think in the beginning it was the travel. My dad was in the Army so when I was young we would travel to really nice places and I thought when I got older that I would do the same thing.  

Q: With your dad in the Army did you move around a lot as a kid and was it difficult?  

Yes, I did. When I was younger it was pretty easy. But as I got a little older – like around middle school age to high school – it was a little less [easy] because you have your friends that you have to leave behind.  

Q: Why did you volunteer to help with the Sesame Street/USO tour?  

I have kids myself and I know that this is something that children really enjoy, and I’m a big kid myself playing with my own kids. And to see the joy that the kids get out of it seeing the characters was a highlight for me.  

Q: Have you volunteered before? If so, how many Sesame/USO shows have you seen and what keeps you coming back?  

No, that was my first time ever and I had a lot of fun.  

Q: Military personnel have lots of experience loading and unloading material, whether it be in combat, in an emergency response capacity or community service. What does it feel like and why is it meaningful to do so for the joy and education of military children?  

It feels good to be doing something for the kids. As I said, I’m a big kid myself and I like to build forts with my kids, and it’s just pure joy to see that they are happy.  

Q: How many times have you had orders to move?  

This is my seventh base.  

Q: Is it difficult to move around a lot or to be separated from your family during long deployments?  

Yes, it is, mainly because my everyday life is coming home to my kids and my family. So once you’re deployed and you get off from work and go home to your room, you don’t have your family there. You don’t get the hugs. You don’t get the “I love you”s. So yeah, it’s hard. Very hard.  

Q: Do you have kids back at home who could relate to the message?  

Yes, I have a blended family for a total of four – a 10 year old, a 9 year old, a 7 year old and a 6 year old.  

Q: What is your favorite memory from your experience helping with the Sesame Street/USO tour?  

Seeing how happy the kids were. They were jumping up and down. I was passing out the Elmo twirly lights and just to see how their faces lit when they saw the characters was amazing. That was by far the best part.  

Q: Who is your favorite character and why?  

I guess I would have to say Cookie Monster because I’m a dessert man myself.   

Q: Is there a special message you would like to share with your friends or family back home?  

I would definitely tell my family and friends that the next time the USO does something like this, for them to get out and be a part of it because I definitely enjoyed myself. It was great.  

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