USO Casey delivers Morale Boosting BBQ to Illinois National Guard Training at Rodriquez Range

by Tom Higgins
USO Camp Casey

Two hundred and six soldiers from Alpha Troop,2-106 CAV, Illinois National Guard, out of Pontiac, Illinois, traveled a long way to Rodriguez Live Fire Complex to train for 3 weeks from 19 April until 3 May 2019. USO Camp Casey was reading to support them when they did!!! “We started working with CPT William Leak, CDR, Alpha Troop about three months ago when he came over on an advance team to set up the training,” stated Tom Higgins, Center Manager for USO Casey. For many of their soldiers it was not only their first-time training in Korea but also for the majority of them their first time outside of continental United States of America.

In addition to organizing a Morale Boosting BQ on 26 April for all of the soldiers, USO Casey also provides a USO Lounge at Rodriquez Live Fire Complex where soldiers training can relax afterwards with big screen TVs, free WiFi, pool and table tennis, gaming systems, a library and a place to unwind after a day of long hard training. “Our mission at USO is to strengthen America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation which to us includes these times when they are training in austere remote locations far from home,” commented Tom Higgins, USO Casey Manager.

The Morale boosting barbecue was a tremendous success!! Soldiers were treated to a traditional American BBQ of hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and soda. Despite some intermittent rain everyone was happy and enjoyed the BBQ with their fellow battle buddies. Soldiers had been training since early morning and the 4PM BBQ was a welcome site. 1SG Wes Sosa and CPT William Leak were instrumental in assisting the USO in coordination and logistics. "The USO is a great organization that really makes a difference for our troops overseas. They really went above and beyond this time helping take care of my Soldier's,” stated 1SG Wes Sosa, Alpha Troop 2-106 Cav, Pontiac, Illinois whose hometown is Oregon, Illinois.

Organizing events like this is not easy but with the support of unit commandeer, CPT William B. Leak, whose hometown is Normal, Illinois the BBQ boosted the Morale of all soldiers involved. CPT Leak had some very complimentary things to say about the support given by USO Casey. "It is always great to know that no matter where the military may take or send us the USO is there. The USO can always be counted upon to raise the morale of the Soldiers by providing goods and services that remind us of home," stated CPT Leak.

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