Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Supporting the USO

My schedule today called for an early lunch at Masraff's on Post Oak to learn more about the USO, the USO Auxiliary, local volunteers and their upcoming plans.

Filling me in on all of this were Lavonne Cox, president of the Houston Auxiliary, and Amanda Malloy, a staffer with the national organization. Amanda had flown in from her home base in Destin, FL. Her husband — on active duty in the Air Force — is stationed there.

The USO is a non-profit, private organization, chartered by Congress. It relies on the generosity of individuals and corporations to support its activities. The USO is not part of the U.S. government, but it is recognized by the Department of Defense, Congress and the President of the United States, who serves as the honorary chairman.

This afternoon, I learned the Houston Auxiliary is moving full steam ahead. Several activities are being planned for the fall and winter, including a big fund-raising dinner set for Presidents Day, 2012. I also learned the Houston Auxiliary has a Facebook page (The Houston Chapter of the USO Auxiliary) and is soliciting both friends and supporters.

I told Lavonne and Amanda they could count on me to join the Auxiliary and to help local efforts in any way I can. I promised to feature the USO in the September/October issue of Houston Woman Magazine.

Like most patriotic Americans, I strongly believe in the work of the USO and appreciate its mission — to lift the spirits of American troops and their families.

I grew up in a military family, so I am very familiar with the USO. Often, my dad has told me about how important the organization is to the men in uniform and cited examples of good deeds done all around the world —  including Bob Hope's wonderful USO Shows. (Needless to say, watching those USO shows on television when they aired at Christmastime was always must-see TV for my family.)

My dad's favorite story, though, took place at the USO Center in Washington D.C., shortly after World War II. It was there, while attending a USO dance, that he met my pretty mother!

Needless to say, that USO story is my favorite too. 

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