Elaine Rogers

COMMENTARY

Industry answers the call of the USO

On Friday, Oct. 28, as part of our annual Stars & Stripes Casino Night, the USO of Metropolitan Washington (USO-Metro) will honor our 2011 Circle of Stars – our largest corporate sponsors, whose financial support enables us to provide much-needed services for our military service members and their families.

The list is impressive – truly a who’s who of defense and government contractors, along with leading companies from a variety of industries – and we are honored and humbled that these outstanding corporations choose to support USO-Metro’s mission. We couldn’t provide the extensive quality services we deliver to our service members without this crucial support.

The last few years have been more challenging for charities from several perspectives: while the needs of those we serve have grown significantly, many firms have cut back on the monies they allocate for charities  because of economic pressures. As many are, we are learning to do more with less and fortunately we have phenomenal volunteers – 5,000 of them – who ensure our service members and their families are well served through an incredible variety of programs. The programs vary from job fairs to boot camps for kids, to our extensive hospital services for our wounded warriors and their caregivers.

Each year, our efforts touch the lives of more than 500,000 service members, through our airport services, the programs we provide through the hospitals, and our efforts on military bases around the Washington Metropolitan Area.

And this need is growing as we prepare for the many service members who will return home from overseas as a result of President Barack Obama's recent announcement that 33,000 troops will return home from Afghanistan over the next year. The Metropolitan Washington area is home to one of the largest military populations in the world. They are our neighbors; their spouses are our teachers, colleagues and business owners. As a community we will celebrate many homecomings – opportunities to express our gratitude to our troops and their family members for the decade they have spent at war on our behalf.

As military families ready for the return of a loved one, USO-Metro will be there to support them through what can sometimes be a difficult transition. The USO’s role is to lift the spirits of our military and their families and do the little things to boost morale and let them know they are supported and appreciated.

We need your help to do that.

Celebrating its 70th year, the USO is the way for the local communities – you – to support the troops and their families. Throughout its history, the USO has developed new and innovative programs to meet the ever-changing needs of service members and their families while holding true to its original mission.

With state-of-the-art facilities and simple acts of kindness, the USO is a home away from home for those who sacrifice to ensure our freedom and security. None of these programs could exist without the financial foundation provided by our phenomenal Board Members and corporate donors.

We hope you’ll join us on Oct. 28 to honor these outstanding companies, who lead by example – providing needed funding as well as their time, energy, expertise and passion.

If you find you’d like to join this impressive lineup, we’d love to welcome you to our elite list of USO-Metro supporters.

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities or to buy tickets for Casino Night, please email me at Elaine@usometro.org, or call 703-696-3103.

We’d love to see you there.

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