Courtesy photo

Isabel Hubbard, program manager for USO Fort Hood, visited Harker Heights Rotary Club members Aug. 14 and shared her transition from moving to Texas from Hawaii.

She also shared the mission of the USO and the organization’s Yellow Ribbon Benefit Gala set for 7 p.m. Sept. 5 at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

Hubbard is a 21-year Army spouse from Hawaii. She has three children and two grandchildren.

“We’ve got to get off this rock because I prefer that our kids learn to speak a language that is understandable,” she said before her husband joined the military.

Hubbard just celebrated her 13th anniversary working with USO at Fort Hood.

“We are so lucky to have this kind of relationship with Fort Hood,” she said.

Rotary member Don Nicholson said several Heights Rotarians serve on the USO Board.

“Our club has a strong representation with the organization this year,” he said.

In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt mandated six different organizations come together to form the United Service Organizations, known today as the USO.

The nonprofit’s mission states that Americans have felt profound appreciation and gratitude for the dedication and sacrifice of troops and their families.

“The USO fulfills its mission of lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families,” Hubbard said. “USO Fort Hood opened its doors Aug. 10, 2001 and today operates centers in two locations: USO Fort Hood — 50th Street, Building No. 1871 and in Gatesville on North Fort Hood.”

Each center offers computers, gaming stations, a library, a lounge, a movie theatre, a snack bar, free fax and copy machines with family programming held in many locations across the installation.

“Even though we were ready for the experience of the April 2 shooting on Fort Hood, it was a bittersweet event,” she said, adding there were people locked in rooms, but USO staff were asked to assist them.

There was also one family who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Their diaper bag was in the car and the baby was hungry.

“We rushed around and got formula for the baby,” she said. “That was a little thing, but we were there and that is what USO is about.”

Gala planned

The Yellow Ribbon Benefit Gala will feature keynote speaker Mary Eisenhower, president and CEO of People to People International.

She is President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s granddaughter.

Tony Orlando, who recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the recording of the song, “Tie a Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree,” will provide entertainment.

For more information about the gala and the USO, call 254-768-2770.

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