Hometown Hero--USO and the American Red Cross

They are the smiling faces that so often go unrecognized.  Staff Sergeant James Woodby with the 333rd Medical Company said, "When you come home and see the USO or you see them overseas you know there are people for you."

Volunteers with the USO and the American Red Cross work seven days a week to ensure our soldiers have what they need. From purchasing items for care packages, to just being a helping hand and sometimes even standing in as family, they are always there. "When people can't be there you know they are," said Staff Sergeant Woodby, "They're that helping hand or that pat on the back."

But why do they do it?  USO Volunteer Mary Adams said, "They will go through the line as they're boarding the plane and they're thanking you, it's a wonderful feeling."  Volunteer Jerry Gill agrees, "It's an enjoyable and rewarding experience."

Gill says he couldn't be more proud of our brave men and women. "I haven't found one yet that had a negative attitude about any of it. They all know what their job is and what they're required to do and this is what they're doing and they're proud to do it."

That's why for every deployment, every homecoming and any other time they're needed, these volunteers are ready to give their time. "This is just one way we can let them know we support them," said Gill.

Support these soldiers appreciate.  "It makes you feel good," said Specialist Esha Parker with the 333rd Medical Company, "people really care about everything that's going on."

That's why the USO and the American Red Cross are this weeks WTOC's Hometown Hero.

Reported by: Christy Hutchings, chutchings@wtoc.com