Dawn Rysavy meets and greets hundreds of faces each day. Some are regulars from the local KMC while others hail from the U.S. and elsewhere. Rysavy, who manages the USO Warrior Center, is often busy greeting a new batch of USO volunteers. The center currently has 87 volunteers who help run the center seven days a week.
“With just a staff of four, we really need our volunteers,” Rysavy said. “They mean the world to us.” Volunteers are responsible for greeting visitors, putting out snacks, manning the front desk, ensuring computers are operating, cleaning the center and anything else that may be needed to support the primary staff. “We love our volunteers and anything they can offer. We really look forward to it,” she said.
The extra set of hands also ensures service members will always find a smiling face or reminder of home anytime they visit the center. “They’re not near family and they’re so far away from home, and I think a lot of them are humbled by the outpouring of support from folks. To see that in their smile or just that thank you that I hear. I’ve done my job. That’s why I’m working for the USO. Just to know that they have felt like they’re a part of the family,” Rysavy said.
Geraldin Lenkolie has been a volunteer at the center since January. The Boston native likes to come in at least three times a week. “I wanted to help the community and give back what I had received from the USO,” Lenkolie said. “When I came here, I was just coming to enjoy it and have a good time. When I found out that there was a way that I could actually help the staff to make everyone feel the same way, I decided to do it.”
The USO Warrior Center is located in Bldg. 3759 and is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. USO volunteers must be at least 18 years old and an ID cardholder or be able to gain access to the installation. To begin the process, prospective volunteers can visit www.usovolunteer.org.
For more details on the KMC USO volunteer program, call 06371-802-4900.