USOHRCV wraps up Operation: I'll Be Home for the Holidays with record breaking support!

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Service members at PHF Airport enjoy a full dinner of fried chicken with all the sides and fixings while waiting for outbound flights from PHF

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Dunkin Donuts provided several dozen boxes of donuts, as well as hot coffee.

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Santa swings by the USO center at PHF during Operation: I'll be Home for the Holidays to visit with our troops, and even some of the youngest travelers.

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A service member catches a nap while visiting the USO center at PHF Airport during Block Leave 2017.

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USO ORF Center Director Len Friddle, with some of his volunteers as they serve lunch to travelling service members.

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Operation: I'll be Home for the Holidays efforts at the USO center at Norfolk International Airport were sponsored by Virginia Beach based ADS Inc.

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USO ORF received tremendous community support including the donation of fresh salads from Saladworks, as well as breakfast from Kolache factory.

USO Hampton Roads and Central Virginia would like to thank all who supported our 2017 Operation: I’ll be Home for Christmas (AKA Block Leave) efforts. Here’s a recap of what happened:

Newport News/Williamsburg (PHF) Airport:

  • 507 students come through on 12/20 alone, with the first ones arriving at 01:15 AM and the last one departing 48 hours later.
  • Generous donation of gift cards from Kroger allowed service members to enjoy a full fried chicken dinner.
  • Harris Teeter provided deli trays, bagel trays and soda.
  • Dunkin Donuts provided several dozens of donuts, as well as all the coffee used by 12 USOHRCV locations throughout the year!
  • Girl Scout Troop 1284 from Williamsburg, VA donated over $2,000 woth of Girl Scout treats including nuts, boxed chocolates and candy.
  • Keebler company donated assorted non-perishable snacks so service members can have a nibble during their flights.
  • Upward Bound, sponsored by Hampton University, held a collection and donated over 11,185 items such as snacks, drinks, and bottled water during the month of December.
  • Yve and Cody Grundy provided 36 pizzas to troops returning back to Fort Eustis in January.
  • Sonny McRae, age 76, worked from 2:30AM to 2:30PM– a full 12 hour shift– to ensure each visitor to USO PHF was well taken care of.
  • USO Canine Comfort Crew, including Samantha and Sadie, took turns entertaining troops, sometimes as early as 4AM in the morning!

Norfolk International Airport:

  • Financial sponsorship from Operation: I’ll be Home for the Holidays from ADS inc. helped cover incidentals as well as snacks and beverages for troops.
  • Support from various volunteer groups including SAIC and Liberty Tax.
  • Several in-kind donations from various Virginia Beach based businesses including Kolache Factory, Salad Works, Wingstop and more!

Fort Lee and Richmond International Airport:

  • Fort Lee muster began in the early morning hours and continued throughout the week. Staff and volunteers were on site as early as 12 Midnight all the way through the early morning hours.
  • Richmond International Airport was continuously open for a week, and ushered 6,000 troops through its doors.
  • Papa Johns in Central Virginia sponsored Operation: I’ll be Home for the Holidays efforts by providing nearly $30,000 worth of individual pan-sized pizzas for traveling troops.
  • Volunteers from a number of groups came together to divvy up shifts, including volunteers from Napier Realty, Bank of America and more.

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