November 2, 2021
On October 25, members of AMCD met with Bob Kurkjian, President of the USO West Region. Mr. Kurkjian explained how USO was founded by President Roosevelt in February of 1941. Bob Hope dedicated his life to the USO, entertaining troops worldwide from WWII to the Gulf War.
The organization provides support for servicemembers from the time they enlist until they transition back to civilian life. The USO has centers all around the world, wherever our troops are located, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle. They never charge servicemembers for their services. An army of volunteers staffs their centers and provide programs for families as well as the servicemembers themselves. All the entertainers donate their time as well.
The USO is a 501 (c) 3 corporation and receives around $24 million a year from the government but must raise the additional $125 million/year.
Mr. Kurkjian worked in Afghanistan providing all the logistical support for all the fuel, food and other supplies needed by the military at Bagram. He pointed out that our 10-15,000 troops were supported by 45,000 civilian contractors. During the withdrawal, the USO was based in Dubai, sending in supplies back on the empty planes bringing refugees out. Mr. Kurkjian was also involved in helping to evacuate a valued translator who was trapped with his family in the chaos of withdrawal. He also described the demilitarization process which dismantled tons of military equipment left behind.
AMCD co-chair, Hossein Khorram is also a USO NW Emeritus Director encourages AMCD members to help USO in any capacity they are comfortable to with show their gratitude for the U.S. Military and the global order that it provides AMCD applauds the fine work done by USO volunteers nationwide. Send your support for the USO here.