To support the continuation of its soldier and family programs, the USO Fort Hood will host the third annual Yellow Ribbon Gala on Sept. 5.
The event — which drew more than 350 attendees last year — features live music, dinner, dancing and a program featuring the granddaughter of the nation’s 34th president Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“Come and join us and know that you’re supporting our soldiers and their families,” said Isabel Hubbard, interim director of USO Fort Hood. “Let’s make a USO moment together.”
Returning from last year’s gala are the 10-piece Matchmaker Band and 1970s superstar Tony Orlando — known for his classic hit “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree.”
“He left the people in such a wanting for more he agreed to come back,” Hubbard said. “He has such a heart for the soldier, that was evident the last time. We are excited he agreed and is available to come back.”
This year’s keynote speaker is Mary Eisenhower, who’s grandfather was one of the Army’s few five-star generals.
An international activist, she established MJ Eisenhower & Associates in Missouri to “facilitate positive interactions amongst the peoples of the world.”
Eisenhower is heavily influenced by her presidential grandfather, according to the company’s website. She will speak on what the USO has meant to her family, Hubbard said.
“The people at home occupy a strategic place in a nation at war. One of their major responsibilities is to convince the armed forces that the country is behind them,” wrote the president in a letter describing the purpose of the USO.
Gala guests also can participate in a silent and live auction, Hubbard said.
The money raised will go to support the two USO centers at Fort Hood and the family programs it offers.
“I want people to come and enjoy and know the sales of tickets will support the continuance of USO Fort Hood programs and operations,” Hubbard said.
The center on post was the first on a U.S.-based military installation 13 years ago.
It has since expanded to a second center for visiting soldiers at North Fort Hood.
“This was the first, sort of a pilot, and because our relationship is so awesome with Fort Hood and III Corps, other USOs on installations started popping up throughout the nation,” she said.