CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan – The Camp Foster USO hosted a grand reopening ceremony after renovations were completed Aug. 30 aboard Camp Foster.
A section of the USO was closed since January 2017 for renovations that were designed with the comfort of the service members and their families in mind.
“The renovations allow us to provide modern technology for the service members,” said Tamara Owens, center manager of USO Camp Foster. “This offers a better way for them to stay connected to family, home and country throughout their service to the nation.”
The USO has updated features needed to keep in touch with family such as updated Wi-Fi, new computer stations, and laptops, which can be check out by visitors. Other new features include a homey atmosphere with plush couches, video games and TVs. According to Ashlyn Smith, a USO volunteer, her favorite new feature is the movie theater.
The USO hosts weekly events like Wake-up Wednesday and Taco Tuesday but they are looking forward to adding more food related programs now that they have added a full kitchen to their facility.
“A free home cooked meal is a comfort for service members,” said Owens. “We can now do more events throughout the week that involves food with the addition of the kitchen.”
The Camp Foster USO is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, for service members to enjoy the new amenities. Other programs that the USO hosts, like United Through Reading, Operation Birthday Cake, and more, will continue to be hosted along with any new programs that the USO may introduce.
Regina Lopez, a long-time patron of the USO attended the ceremony to show her gratitude.
“The USO is so important because they are always there for us,” said Lopez, now a Camp Foster resident. “My husband and I use the USO when we are in transit and to call home since we don’t have a phone. They keep us in touch wherever we are. I came here today to support them and to say thank you.”
Brig. Gen. Paul Rock Jr., commanding general of Marine Corps Installations Pacific, and Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, was the guest speaker at the ceremony. He praised and thanked the USO for all their dedication and hard work.
“With a career of almost 30 years I am certainly familiar with the USO,” said Rock. “The USO and the organization is vital to what we do. The USO’s commitment to our service members is absolutely admirable. On behalf of all Marine Corps Installation Pacific Marines, sailors and civilians, thank you for what you do.”
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