Tuesday, September 10th
Sept 16th, 5:00 pm Board Meeting, SDYC; 6:00 pm Steak Fry, SDYC
Sept 24th, 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting, SDYC, Speaker to be announced
Sept 30th, 6:00 pm, Annual Installation Dinner, Bali Hai, Hawaiian attire, $20pp (see Tom Lewis for reservations)
In 1941, six service agencies got together to create and support the launch of the United Service Organization (USO). This new group was formed to provide morale support and recreational services to the members of the US military services. The founding partners, YMCA, YWCA, Catholic Community Charities, Jewish Welfare Board, Salvation Army and Travelers Aid Society, provided financial support and partnership relations to the new USO. They continue to provide partnering opportunities and support volunteerism, two critical roles in the USO success.
September 10, 2018 was the opening date of the new Headquarters office of USO San Diego. This facility can be found at 2790 Truxton Road, Suite 110, in Liberty Station (right here in Point Loma!). The facility is open 365 days a year and provides services to 8,000 military personnel and their dependents EVERY MONTH! Ashley Camac is the Executive Director of USO San Diego. She came to the USO with an extensive background in military family programming. “According to the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC), there are 140,000 active duty personnel in San Diego County. That means over 300,000 potential customers for USO San Diego services, when you add in dependents!” Ashley told us. “In the last year, USO San Diego documented 282,000 unique instances of services, we served over 32,000 meals, we booked over 52,000 hours of volunteer service and provided over 7,200 toys to dependents of military personnel during the holidays.”
But, that is just the beginning! Every Monday, USO San Diego welcomes 700-900 new recruits to the airport heading to MCRD, the Marine Boot Camp in San Diego. USO San Diego is first introduced to the incoming recruits for all branches joining out of San Diego at their location inside the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in Kearney Mesa, where they are processed for enlistment or induction into the armed services. Then, just to keep things interesting, on Tuesday, USO San Diego welcomes back 700-900 recently graduated recruits at the airport, back from leave and on to Camp Pendelton for their infantry training programs. “Tuesday nights we serve a free dinner to military personnel and their dependents at Liberty Station Park. We average around 500 people, adults and children, for dinner, every week. Local service groups and individual volunteer to serve the dinners. It is a great event and very welcomed by our clients,” Ashley said. “Thanksgiving dinner is another very busy day. We are pleased to announce our partnership with the Peninsula YMCA for this Thanksgiving.” USO San Diego also offers a free food pantry for service members and their families. Food products are donated by local providers on a regular basis. These products are displayed in the Pantry at the Liberty Station office. They are available to their clients, free of charge.
Military families live in many communities throughout San Diego County. To make sure they are meeting the needs of these families, USO San Diego has a mobile service program. “We have one USO office on wheels right now. We hope to add a second vehicle in the near future,” according to Ashley. “The mobile office can bring services to our clients. It is important for us to reach out and let military families know we are here to assist them.” Programs are another big part of USO San Diego. Reaching out to teen dependents, military spouses, and Military Kids Club are but a few of the programs offered. “We offer programs for the service members, their spouses and their children. We help them find their way into the military, help manage their lives while they are in the military and then offer them assistance as they transition out of the military. We feel the service they provide to our country, should be met with the services we can provide to assist them and their families with the challenges of the military life.” We could not agree more! Thank you Ashley for sharing with us the work of the USO. We are grateful for all you do.