VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — After several months at sea, about 300 sailors aboard the USS Carter Hall are happy to be back at their homeport of Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach.
Typically, after a deployment, and with holidays approaching, many plan a trip back to their
But for the single sailor or Marine, soldier, Coast Guardsman or airman, “home for the holidays”
may be another day in their barracks here at a Hampton Roads base. Many will not be travelling
due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While that may sound a little depressing to a homesick servicemember, all is not lost thanks
to the USO.
“The need for the USO is to bring a little ‘home’ to the service members,” says Kenny Miller,
operations and program manager for the United Service Organizations (USO).
Miller says the USO will bring the holiday party to them.
“We’re going to bring the USO box truck to the various installations here on both the Southside
as well as up on the Peninsula.”
That box truck and crew will roll into several area bases, loaded with fun outdoor activities.
“Games such as cornhole and can jam, kind of make a competitive atmosphere. And, we’re gonna have prizes,” Miller says. “We’re going to have music, food and beverages and just kinda bring a holiday cheer to all those single service members who are living in the barracks.”
Miller says each service member will also receive a goodie bag. And the USO will need the public’s
help to stuff the bags with donated items such as “powdered drink mix, hot cocoa mix, chewing gum,
beef jerky, holiday hand sanitizers, holiday candy, pinetree scented air fresheners and those
things that are kinda fun and holiday oriented.”
Miller says the USO’s rotating holiday tour will hit different bases for two weeks, starting Friday, December 3.
It’s a lot of work, but worth it to let servicemembers know they are appreciated “as well as to bring
a little bit of smile and joy to our service members when they cannot necessarily be with their families.”
To find out more about volunteering your time or donating items for the goodie bag giveaways, just contact
the USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia at 757-337-4447 or visit their website.