Celebrating 77 Years Of The USO - The Force Behind The Force
by U.S. Army
Reserve Sgt. Audrey Hayes
Fighting and winning America’s wars takes more than resources, it
takes support and effort from the American people. For the last 77
Services Organization (USO), a group of 30,000 volunteers, has
been the force behind our Armed forces ... keeping every service
member connected to their family, home and country.
celebrate the service of ‘the force behind the force’ ... the USO of
Metropolitan New York hosted the 57th Armed Forces Gala and Gold
Medal Dinner on December 12, 2018 at the Manhattan Marriott Marquis,
December 12, 2018 - An honor
guard, comprised of service members from all branches of the
Armed Forces, presents arms during the opening ceremony of
the 57th United States Organization (USO) Armed Forces Gala,
held at the Manhattan Marriott Marquis, New York. The gala
is an annual event that honors the Armed Forces, civilians
who volunteer their time to the military through the USO and
the corporations who show their support by employing
veterans and members of the Reserve forces. (U.S. Army
Reserve photo by Sgt. Audrey Hayes)
The gala included entertainment from the USO Show Troup, singer
and songwriter Matt Nathanson, and special guests like Willie Giest,
the host of NBC’s ‘Sunday Today.’
During the event, Lt. Gen.
Charles D. Luckey, the chief of the Army Reserve and commanding
general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, awarded five service members,
one from each branch of the military, with the George Van Cleave USO
Military Leadership Award.
Among the awardees were Staff Sgt.
Ronald J. Shurer II, the latest Medal of Honor recipient, and Coast
Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Traci Huddleston. Huddleston helped a
teenage girl over a mile to safety and provided first aid for five
hours until medical assistance arrived, after an active shooter
opened fire on a crowd at a country music festival in Las Vegas,
Nevada on October 1, 2018.
In addition to awarding our Nation’s heroes, Luckey was the keynote
speaker for the gala, on behalf of the Army. Luckey spoke about the
stress that’s been placed on our military, over the last 16 years,
while we’ve been fighting a war overseas.
December 12, 2018 - Coast Guard
Petty Officer 2nd Class Traci Huddleston (middle) smiles
with Lt. Gen Charles D. Luckey, chief of Army Reserve and
commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command (left), and
Edward T. Reilly (right), the vice chairman of the United
Services Organization (USO) of Metropolitan New York, after
being awarded the George Van Cleve Military Leadership medal
at the during the 57th USO Armed Forces Gala, held at the
Manhattan Marriott Marquis, New York8. The gala is an annual
event that honors the Armed Forces, civilians who volunteer
their time to the military through the USO and the
corporations who show their support by employing veterans
and members of the Reserve forces. (U.S. Army Reserve photo
by Sgt. Audrey Hayes)
“It’s not going to
get any easier,” said Luckey. “We’re in an era where our adversaries
present a near-peer threat on every battle domain.”
went on to say that we are able to “weave the national security
fabric of the United States and defend the Constitution against all
enemies — foreign and domestic” with the help of the USO and
American corporations who support the USO.
Raytheon CEO, Dr. Thomas Kennedy was awarded USO’s Distinguished
Service Award at the gala. Their workforce is comprised of 60
percent veterans and service members. Corporations like Raytheon,
who share their employees with the military, help combat near-peer
threats by allowing the Army Reserve to do their part in putting
forth the finest talent America has to offer.
Now, more than
ever, the Army Reserve has been preparing to use America’s talent by
sending Reserve Soldiers to the fight, sometimes with only a
30-day’s notice, and that is made possible through relationships and
a continuous flow of support from the rest of the Nation.
believe that supporting our military is the duty of each and every
American,” said Brian Whiting, CEO and President of USO,
Metropolitan New York. “We are committed to closing the drift
between our service members and the American people and keeping our
military connected with everything it is that they love and
everything that they’re fighting for—their family, their home and
It’s support like this, that reaches from the
heart of the country to the heart of the military, which allows them
to protect freedom and the American way life.