During COVID 19 Pandemic many support services on Army installations have closed or limited service and many are working through virtual means. USO Casey however, has remained open and serving soldiers every single day during the whole time. “Since COVID 19 pandemic started we have expanded our hours and delivered programs such as lunch and breakfast via mobile services for soldiers in unit that are limiting movement”, stated Tom Higgins, USO Casey Center Manager. “When I heard over 600 soldiers assigned to 1 -18 Infantry Regiment from Camp Humphreys and 1-7th Field Artillery from Camp Casey would be training at Rodriguez Range I knew we had to do something to support them,” Higgins added. 105 Pizzas were delivered by USO Casey on 24 April to the units for a lunch break at multiple training sites. Dur to the restrictions on large gathering the two units picked up the Pizza at the USO Lounge and brought them to their soldiers at various training sites within Rodriguez Range.

Even during normal operations there are very limited service at locations along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) such as Rodriguez Range and now the missions become more difficult with the additional restrictions and isolation. Mr. Keith Chambers, the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex Installation Coordinator provided POCs for both units and we started to discuss logistics and what type of program could we offer within the guidelines of restricted large gatherings and decided we would drop off 105 Pizza’s and drinks (Gatorade, soda, and water) for the soldiers lunch.

With the help of CPT Lantz Rudolph, 1-7th Field Artillery and CPT Joel Self, 1-18th Infantry Regiment coordination for Pizza Drop and distribution to multiple locations were accomplished. All the soldiers there enjoyed a taste of home while working long hard hours training along Freedom’s Frontier. “This was a fantastic gesture by USO Camp Casey, and all our soldiers greatly appreciated it,” stated CPT Lantz Rudolph.

In addition to organizing a Morale Boosting Pizza Drop on 24 April for all of the soldiers training there, 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 Pizza Drop was a tremendous success!! Soldiers were treated to a taste of home and the USO was there to support them!!! Our next event will be a Memorial Day BBQ at Camp Casey. Please stop by USO Camp Casey on 25 May for a traditional Memorial Day BBQ right in front of building 2648 beginning at 1130 hours.

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