Spouses Fred and Carey Killea sat down to a lunch of salad, spaghetti, garlic bread and other fixings, May 10.
But, it wasn’t just any lunch — the two; Fred, a sergeant first class and Carey, a staff sergeant, were taking time from their duties as Soldiers assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 503rd Military Police Battalion to participate in the USO of North Carolina Military Spouse Appreciation Lunch, at its Fort Bragg office in the Soldier Support Center. May 12 was National Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
“We’re here to support the USO and each other,” Fred said.
“Not only are we supporting each other as dual military now, but we’re supporting our Family as a whole,” said Carey.
Made available through contributions from KPMG, Olive Garden, Fresh Market, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Texas Roadhouse, the lunch was open to the first 75 spouses who responded on Facebook, explained Renee Lane, director, USO of NC at Fort Bragg.
Some gifts spouses received included “Chicken Soup for Military Families,” (Fort Bragg is the first installation to receive the book, which was released May 9), a Texas Roadhouse gift card, “A Home for our Hearts Deployment Journal,” and a box of chocolates. Tables were adorned with flowers.
“We hope this is the first of many we’ll host for military spouses,” Lane said.
As an Army spouse of more than two years, Shakeila Christopher seemed to appreciate the sentiment.
“It’s really kind. You don’t see that at every base and you don’t see the spouses get a lot of recognition, in general,” she said.
“This is a great thing. I think sometimes the spouses don’t get appreciated for what they do,” said Candie Cotter, a 14-year Army spouse.
According to Beverly Jackson, USO of NC at Fort Bragg’s assistant director, KPMG, the company primarily responsible for the luncheon, is a great partnership company for the organization.
“They come out and are just hands-on. Whatever we need, they jump in and help,” Jackson said. “They really have a desire to give back to our military Families.”
Will Ikier, a KPMG manager, agreed.
“We always like to give back. Since we’re in a military town, we’d start with the USO.”
The USO of NC is dedicated to supporting service members and their Families.
It’s a message Lane conveyed to the spouses who attended the lunch.
“We want to make sure that you know that we never forget you,” she said. “Look for the USO — it’s your home away from home.”
The USO of NC at Fort Bragg is located on the first floor, Wing L, of the Soldier Support Center (Building 4-2843 Normandy Drive). Call them at 495-1437, visit their website at www.northcarolina.uso.org/fortbragg or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USOofNCFortBragg.