The United Service Organization of North Carolina is helping in-state military expand their programs in order to support troops and their Families.
John Falkenbury, president of the North Carolina USO, said the goal is to establish quarterly programs at Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune, Charlotte and Raleigh that focus on resiliency, transition and financial literacy.
A North Carolina survey targeted these three areas as being the main areas in which troops and Families need assistance.
Falkenbury, also stated that the financial support of the North Carolina community is much needed to make this backfill a success.
“We are not funded by USO,” Falkenbury said. “So we rely on the support of our North Carolinians to achieve some of our goals. The support of the North Carolina community has been very effective over the past several years allowing us to sponsor over 665,000 services to aid troops and their Families with homecomings, deployments, sporting events, plane tickets and much more. We need that continued effort to expand so that we can fit the bill for more services in our military community.”
Falkenbury said that some of the services have already been initiated and they have received positive feedback from those involved.
“We have a reading comprehension program that allows parents the opportunity to have certified teachers give them the proper tools to help their children read and study better,” Falkenbury said. “The program started out slow, hosting around 10 to 12 people in the fall and spring sessions. It has grown since, and our last reading comprehension event hosted around 50 people and participants claimed to have learned a lot and recommended the event to other parents.”
“We also have the Soldier 360 program on Fort Bragg,” Falkenbury said. “The service provides Soldiers with skills that will help them be more resilient, which will allow them to become better leaders. We want to expand this program to Leadership 360 to touch more branches of service, — Marines, Airmen, and National Guard.”
Falkenbury said that big changes like these don’t happen overnight, but with donations and community support, drastic changes should occur over the next year.
“Our goal is to walk before we run,” Falkenbury said. “We have already started to get these services running and hopefully by fiscal year 2014, we will have even more services to better assist our North Carolina military community.”
For more information on USO N.C., visit their website at www.uso-nc.org/