The USO Center at Fort Shafter Honolulu is a place where Service Members and their families can find support, connect with others, and feel at home. Recently, the center celebrated its grand re-opening, which promised to offer more services and amenities to the community it serves. The event was attended by the USO Indo-Pacific Regional Vice President, USO Hawaii Area Director, Army leadership, and members of the public who were excited to see the opening of the new and improved center.
The grand re-opening ceremony of the USO center in Army Base Fort Shafter Honolulu started with the singing of the national anthem and Hawaii Pono'i, followed by speeches. The USO Director and the Vice President for Pacific regions spoke about the history and contributions of the USO to the community, highlighting the impact it has made over the years. Command Sergeant Major Derek Wise also gave a speech, emphasizing the critical role that the USO plays in supporting military members and their families. He commended the organization for its unwavering commitment to placing people first and creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Drawing from his own personal experience, the Sergeant Major recounted the heartwarming scene he witnessed while serving lunch on Christmas day, where soldiers from various backgrounds came together to enjoy the festivities and celebrate as a team. Furthermore, Command Sergeant Major Derek Wise also saw families that had just arrived from other duty stations come to take advantage of the Christmas lunch. For them, it was an opportunity to connect with others in the military community and to feel a sense of belonging in a new and unfamiliar environment. This highlights the vital role that the USO plays in supporting military families, who often have to deal with the stresses and challenges of frequent moves and deployments. The USO center provides a place for them to find support, make connections, and build a sense of community wherever they go.
The ceremony continued with several significant events. Kahu LOKO'OLU, a traditional Hawaiian priest, performed the customary blessing, adding a touch of cultural significance to the event. The untying of the Maile lei by Retired Col. Scott Maskery, the USO Indo-Pacific Regional Vice President, Command Sergeant Major Derek Wise, and Juliet Domingo-Bucayu, the USO Hawaii Area Director, and the cake cutting signified the start of a new era for the USO Fort Shafter center.
After untying the Maile lei, guests were treated to a tour of the newly improved USO Fort Shafter center. This tour provided attendees with an opportunity to see firsthand the impressive upgrades and renovations made to the center. The newly improved center boasts a range of new features and amenities that make it an even more welcoming and comfortable place for people to spend time in. One of the most notable upgrades is the increased number of computers available for public use. This will allow more guests to access the internet and complete tasks or stay connected with loved ones while on the go. Additionally, the center now has a dedicated children’s corner, complete with a set of recliner chairs for parents to sit back and relax while watching their children play. This is sure to be a hit with parents who want to keep an eye on their kids while still being able to enjoy some downtime. The new center also provides more dining area, allowing guests to gather and enjoy a meal with colleagues and family. This will be particularly useful for events and gatherings, providing a comfortable and spacious area for guests to relax and socialize.
During the tour, attendees were treated to a range of refreshments provided by Boars Head, Dafforn Dessert, and Costco. This included hot dogs and cupcakes, which were enjoyed by attendees while they connected with colleagues and fellow attendees. These refreshments added an extra level of enjoyment to the tour, making it a memorable experience for all. The tour was a wonderful opportunity for attendees to see the upgrades and renovations firsthand, and the refreshments provided by the generous sponsors made the experience all the more enjoyable.
The grand re-opening of the USO Fort Shafter center was a huge success, thanks to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved, to include our dedicated volunteers. Overall, the new and improved center is a great addition to the community. With its range of amenities and welcoming atmosphere, it is sure to be a popular destination for Service Members and families. The USO center has always been an important part of the community, providing a place for people to come together, relax, and connect with others. The new center promises to continue this tradition, and to provide even more opportunities for people to come together and build strong relationships.
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