NAVAL AIR STATION FORT WORTH JOINT RESERVE BASE, Texas --
Summer time in Texas means barbecues and picnics. That’s just what airmen at the 301st Fighter Wing experienced during the July unit training assembly.
The Dallas/Fort Worth United Service Organization (USO) served barbecue and dessert July 15, 2018, to airmen from the wing’s force support squadron, wing staff, communication squadron, and operations group.
Scott Palomino, 301st Fighter Wing Airman and Family Readiness Center director, was one of several coordinators working behind the scenes to make this event possible.
“My job is to make sure that service members and their families are well taken care of, that morale in the squadron and the fighter wing is up,” said Palomino. “Part of this is building morale and making sure that airmen know there are resources and there are other people in the community that want to help.”
Palomino was able to coordinate this event with Debra Roper, Operations and Programs Manager for USO Dallas/Fort Worth, who expressed what it’s like to put together these type of events for service members.
“The USO is always here to serve them and we are glad to have the opportunity to do this,” said Roper. “I love helping people and it’s a positive feeling every day to support service members.”
Part of what helps Roper and the USO do what they do are the volunteers who dedicate their time to help accomplish the organization's mission. One of those volunteers, Bob Carreras, talks about being ready to be there for service members.
“All of our volunteers, whether civilian or veteran, have it as their gut-instinct, the desire to serve the troops no matter where that is,” said Carreras. “Where we work, at the airport, we see them coming through traveling, but out here we know they’re doing their job and it’s nice to serve them while they’re doing their job.”
This was the first of six upcoming barbecues for the wing.
One of the attendees of the barbecue was Senior Master Sgt. Tia Kancilia, wing staff resource advisor.
“The volunteers were very nice and helpful,” she said. It was fun to sit and talk with my reservists outside of the office. It was also nice that all of wing staff was out there at the same time and to see everybody having a good time, to include the commander and command chief. Definitely boosted morale!”
Col. Mitchell Hanson, 301 FW commander, shared his experience at the barbecue.
“The food was outstanding, but what was even better were the smiles, handshakes, positive words and 'thank you's that all of the USO people passed on,” he said. “…These are great Americans that take time out of their days to serve the men and women in uniform.”
The USO has and continues to support wing morale by participating in events and programs such as wing family day, deployment returns, Santa Taxi and the holiday sponsorship program.
The USO works to lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families at USO Centers and through morale-boosting and family-strengthening programs targeting service members stationed in DFW.