The USO’s mission of strengthening service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country is more critical now than ever before. Recently, the USO Pacific stepped up to support the Sailors and Marines on the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in Guam.
When the USO Guam Team first got the request from Guam military leaders asking for support as the USS Theodore Roosevelt (TR) reached port, they were in a unique position to provide assistance. USO Pacific Regional Vice President, C. K. Hyde commented, “Within 48 hours, we were able to tap global USO supplies, ship direct to Guam and provide personal hygiene and food/snack packages to thousands of TR Sailors. Our USO Guam team worked in protective gear to breakdown bulk shipments, sanitize and build individual care packages for TR Sailors.”
The USO Guam team starts day 11 of assembly of 10,000+ USO hygiene and snack care packages for USS Theodore Roosevelt sailors and other military personnel in Restriction of Movement (ROM) status as part of the COVID-19 response. The USO warehouse in Arlington, VA airlifted 15 pallets of supplies to Guam. The local USO Guam team uncrates, disinfects, and repackages items to distribute to service members.
Here is how the USO Pacific is actively supporting the Sailors and Marines of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (TR) in Guam:
Snack packages assembled by USO Guam volunteers.
Hygiene packages assembled by USO Guam volunteers.
“With Guam’s unique location, air freight and shipment was the preferred method of delivery despite high shipping costs. We have been careful to avoid depleting local island resources so that citizens and service members stationed on Guam have access to the products and supplies they need,” says Marissa Nihill, Director Corporate Alliances.
As of the writing of this article, the USO Pacific has been the only external provider able to directly support the TR Sailors and Marines. In the case of donating Wi-Fi devices, USO Guam is providing an avenue for the crew to connect with their loved ones which is invaluable. Receiving a USO care package- has taken on new meaning as it may be the only item Sailors and Marines can obtain outside of the Navy’s provisioning.
COVID-19 is a global health emergency impacting everyone. However, for our troops and military families this pandemic is creating additional hardships for individuals who are already sacrificing while they continue to serve the county and carry out missions around the world.
USAA has recently partnered with the USO Pacific through a $75,000 sponsorship to assist in the relief efforts supporting the USS Theodore Roosevelt. “As a Navy veteran, I know first-hand when challenges, such as the one on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, comes to bear. Not only does it disrupt the mission at hand but can also add stress to everyday life at sea. At USAA we know what service means to each of those Sailors and we will always be made for what they are made of and that is to support them wherever they may find themselves,” said retired Navy Command Master Chief Petty Officer Marc Sibal. After his 30 years of U.S. Navy service, including as the former Navy Region Hawaii Command Master Chief, Sibal now leads the USAA Military Affairs team in the Pacific – Asia region.
This unprecedented time of social distancing, quarantines and isolation, offers each of us the opportunity to strengthen those that serve. To learn more about the USO and how you can volunteer visit https://volunteers.uso.org.
USO Guam personnel unload daily hot meals to support locally assigned military security and medical personnel working 12-18 hour shifts in the COVID-19 response. The meals provide a chance for a nutritious break, “home cooked” taste, and strength required to deliver on the military mission.
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