WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2012 (AFPS) – The United Service
Organizations has earned its reputation for taking care of service
members and their families through 71 years of unbelievable service,
the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
praised the USO for its continuing support of service members and
their families at the annual USO Gala in Washington, D.C., Nov. 2,
2012. DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett
During his remarks at the 2012 USO Gala, Army Gen. Martin
E. Dempsey used anecdotes and quotes from prominent baseball
players as he praised the USO for its committed support of
America's troops for over seven decades.
an example of Ted Williams, a former U.S. Marine, and Major
League Baseball player with a reputation for hitting, as he
explained the USO's legacy of serving troops.
incredible. He interrupted his career to serve both in World
War II and later in Korea ... [an] incredible patriot,” the
chairman said. “Ted Williams had a certain reputation. And
you know what, so does the USO.”
of service has created a reputation in which they and we
should be very proud,” Dempsey said. “Unbelievable.”
The chairman also used quotes from former New York Yankee
player and manager, Yogi Berra, who said, “Little things are
“Little things are big,” Dempsey said. “But
think about that and what the USO does. Young men and women
deploying, redeploying, families, wounded warriors, this
event. All of the things they do.”
really big things when you really confront them,” he said.
“They're just little things -- a smile, a place to feel at
home, a place to make a phone call. Yogi was right. Little
things can really be big. And we're awful proud of what the
USO does to make little things big.”
noted there were representatives of the Joint Chiefs and
service secretaries also attending the USO Gala to present
honors to the USO's Service Member of the Year.
tonight we're going to honor six of America's finest,”
Dempsey said. “Young men and women who have served their
countries and distinguished themselves in ways that I know
all of the service chiefs and representatives here should be
Dempsey, again quoting Yogi Berra, said, “The
future ain't what it used to be.”
“We've all heard
that one,” he said. “But you know that's the truth in many
ways. In fact, I'm absolutely convinced the future ain't
what it used to be.”
“But the future is bright, and
it is bright because we've got young men and women of the
kind you're going to see here standing on the stage
tonight,” Dempsey said.
Following the chairman and
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta's remarks, the six service
members were honored by a representative from their
respective branches of service.
Army Lt. Gen. William
J. Troy, director of the Army staff, presented Army Staff
Sgt. Jacob Perkins his award; Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F.
Dunford Jr., assistant commandant of the Marine Corps,
recognized Marine Corps Sgt. Clifford Wooldridge; and Navy
Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, chief of Naval Operations,
honored Navy Petty Officer Second Class Gregory Gaylor.
Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force Chief of
Staff, recognized Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher
Beversdorf; Coast Guard Vice Adm. Manson Brown, deputy
commandant for mission support, honored Petty Officer Second
Class Nicholas Beane; and Air Force Lt. Gen. Joseph L.
Lengyel, vice chief of the National Guard Bureau, presented
Senior Airman Evan Stevens his award during the gala.
Dempsey reminded the audience that as they enjoy their
dinners, a new day is just beginning for “young men and
women in Afghanistan.”
“And they're going to strap it
on,” he said. “They're going to put on their rucksacks,
they're going to leave their forward operating bases and
they're going to do what we've asked them to do. And so I'd
just ask that you keep them in your prayers.”
Additionally, Dempsey said, America's men and women, mostly
members of the National Guard and reserves, are helping
citizens recover from Hurricane Sandy.
ended his remarks with the revelation that his own son is
redeploying and will likely use the services of a USO along
“Right now, while Deanie and I are sitting
here, my son is coming back from Afghanistan,” Dempsey said.
“And I know that somewhere along the way the USO will help
him make it home.”
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
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