Supporting organizations that help our servicemen and women
USO

Post Steve Barclift, CDR, SC, USNR Retired

During the last Our Promise campaign, I elected to contribute through a monthly deduction to the United Service Organizations (USO).  For those of you that don’t know, the mission of the USO is to “strengthen America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation”.  Today, USO facilities can be found in airports and near American military bases around the world.  Additional information regarding the USO can be found at: https://www.uso.org/about

As a former U.S. Navy enlisted sailor (E3-DPSN) on my first overseas deployment to Guam (many years ago) I found refuge at the local USO facility.  This assignment to Guam was the first time I was entirely on my own, living on a U.S. Navy ship (U.S.S. Proteus, AS-19) and away from home for almost 16 months.

I spent many weekends (anytime I didn’t have “the duty” aboard ship) hanging out at the USO, where I could go swimming in the ocean, grab a paperback book, order a slider (military version of cheeseburger) and fries, call home, or go on a “boonie stomp”.

What is a boonie stomp you ask?  Boonie stomps consisted of bus rides/excursions to various natural and historic points of interest around the island of Guam.  We visited Telofofo Falls, The salt water pool at Inarajan, the old Spanish Bridge, and the man-made cave of the third to last surviving Japanese solider to surrender after World War II (Sergeant Shichi Yokoi), among numerous other sites.

The USO itself along with the sponsored boonie stomps gave me an understanding and appreciation of Guam’s history and it’s wonderful people and provided me with a safe and wholesome place to spend time away from home.  I will be forever grateful to the USO!