USO Okinawa Staff Spotlight: Meet Melissa Esquivel Olivares

Name: Melissa Esquivel Olivares
Position/Title: Field Program Managers Time worked at USO: 1.5 years Center/Office location: USO Camp Foster

Meet Melissa, a dedicated volunteer and animal lover who has called Okinawa her home for the past 2.5 years. Born in Monterrey, NL, Mexico, Melissa, and her family moved to the outskirts of Chicago when she was two years old before settling in Austin, Texas, eleven years later. Melissa married her high school sweetheart, who joined the Marines shortly after graduating, and together they have made Okinawa their new home.

As an active volunteer, Melissa has been involved with the USO for the last few years and is now acting as the Interim Field Programs Manager for USO Camp Foster. In addition to her volunteer work and employment with the USO, she also has a hunger for knowledge and is working towards her BA in Business Administration.

Melissa is a huge Harry Potter fan; she can often be immersed in the wizarding world and all things magic. Her love for animals, particularly underwater wildlife, inspired her to pursue her dream of working with ocean marine life.

  1. Why do you love working at the USO? I love working for the USO because of the mission to support and uplift our troops. The organization’s dedication to making a difference every day is truly inspiring, and I feel honored to be a part of it. The USO provides an environment that feels like home, and I am proud to be part of a team that works tirelessly to create that sense of comfort and community for our service members and their families. The support of the troops is something that I hold near and dear to my heart, and I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to those who sacrifice so much for our country.

  2. What is your favorite memory of working at the USO? My favorite memory from working at the USO is our volunteer events. Especially the moments when we come together as a team and share our experiences and enthusiasm for the USO mission. Seeing our volunteers in action is always inspiring, and it fills me with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Whether it’s a holiday party, a community event, or a simple get-together, these moments remind me why I love working for the USO.

FEATURED PROGRAM: Food is a universal language that brings people together and creates a sense of community. It is a powerful tool that can bring back memories of home and develop a sense of comfort for those who may be far from their loved ones. At USO Camp Foster, we feature food events that connect our service members with home, culture, and family memories.

Our food events are a celebration of diversity, featuring a variety of dishes from different cultures, highlighting the backgrounds and traditions of our service members. These events allow our service members to enjoy a taste of home and a way to share their own culture with others, fostering a sense of understanding and appreciation.

In addition to the emotional connection, food events also provide an opportunity for our service members to take a break from the daily stressors of military life and enjoy a sense of normalcy. It allows them to relax, socialize, and make new friends, which is especially important for those new to a duty station or deployed overseas.

Overall, food events at the USO are an essential part of our mission to connect, support, and uplift our service members. They provide a sense of community, comfort, and normalcy and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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