Saturday, June 24, 2006

Time well spent

Last night I had my first shift working at the USO. I loved it except for one thing; they need money.

Money and supplies. They need your free samples, your time, and your money.

They receive grants from various organizations and they get food donated to them but it's not enough. I hesitate to list the different organizations that donate money because of the current climate of our Country and any possible retribution that may occur from the traitors that hate us. That is sad.

As a volunteer one of my responsibilities was to make ham and cheese and tuna sandwiches. The sandwiches were made with cheap wheat bread, one piece of sliced ham. One. They were not thick slices. The Soldiers were ecstatic to get them. Every Soldier that walked through the door last night (I was there from 8-midnight) got a sandwich, some took two. Many of them asked me how much they cost and were very appreciative when I told them they were free.

The USO only has 12 bunk beds that are available on a first come, first serve basis. It was rough telling a Soldier that was obviously exhausted that there was not a bed available. They have big couches but that's not a bed. One Soldier actually ASKED PERMISSION to sleep on the floor in the bunk room. I said yes, of course and he said THANK YOU ma'am. I gave him a couple blankets and a pillow and he was out.

Read that again. He said THANK YOU to me for telling him it was okay to sleep ON THE FLOOR.


All of the Soldiers I saw last night were polite, and happy to be there. Most were young. It made me very proud of what I was doing but also a little broken hearted because it wasn't very much. One of the Soldiers was leaving to catch a plane and as he was leaving he shook the hand of the regular Friday night volunteer and said, thank you, it was great being able to come here for few hours, was almost like being at home.

What could be better for them?

As many of them were leaving they stopped to put some cash in the donation box, $5, $10, $20....


Violence Worker said...

Since you don't have Haloscan and therefor trackback capability, I linked to this post with my own plea on my blog and on Code Red* Women for the Troops. (Ok, I'm not a woman, Thirdee invited me to guest post there on occasion)

I'm going to make a donation link a permanent ficture on my blog as well.

Thank you for volunteering and supporting the troops in probably the most beneficial way possible!

Cliff Brown said...

You may never fully understand the good you are doing. I remember the kindness of people at the USO in several places. Military people read newspapers and watch CNN. They know they are called baby killers and worse. They know what is said about the comander-in-chief. They know what is said about their missions by people who have no clue what the missions are. For a lot of young troops it can become overwhelming. A thin sandwich and a safe place on the floor for a nap is an act of kindness that says "At least one American cares".