USO Works Overtime as Third ID Returns - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/13/06

USO Works Overtime as Third ID Returns

It doesn't matter if it's early in the morning or the middle of the night, the USO is always there to see the military deploy and to welcome them home. For the past two months, these volunteers have been working around the clock.

Considering they've been working nonstop since the first part of December, they've been holding up quite well. They've spent nearly every day for the past two months loading up supplies and standing by to help the military and their families in any way they can.

"We have brownies, we have Cokes and drinks and stuffed animals for the children," said volunteer Barbara Heygood when we caught up with her at Hunter Army Airfield as more Third ID soldiers returned. "Usually they're pretty shy when they get here, but after they warm up, they'll come back and help themselves. This is very stressful time for them all."

As troops come in by the hundreds at all hours of day and night, these volunteers are always ready to help. "There's been two o'clock, four o'clock, six o'clock in the morning so with three flights at least, coming in a day," said Heygood. "It's been very busy for volunteers."

The USO has been around since before the United States entered World War II, and its mission is to help boost morale and provide welfare and recreation services to all our men and women in uniform.

"You have to make sure that the families are taken care of," said USO volunteer Mary Nelson Adams. "You have to meet all these wonderful men and women that's provided freedom for our country, and we just make their welcome back in to the US as lovely and beautiful as possible."

These volunteers say working for the USO is one way they feel they can help serve their country, even it it's by doing something as simple as saying welcome home.

"Having a husband that was in the military for 33 years, I feel like, that now since he's passed, anything I can give back something to my country, that he would be appreciative of," said Adams.

The USO helps every branch of the military. As a matter of fact, they're stationed at the Savannah Hilton Head International Airport to greet all the Marines who graduate from Parris Island. And from what we've been told, they'll be there to congratulate the newest members of the Marine Corps next Friday.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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