“Even though we are not open, we are still serving and supporting our service members,” Isabel Hubbard, the Fort Hood USO Center Director, said.
Hubbard and her team were excited to deliver the USO2GO kits to Soldiers under a post-deployment quarantine at North Fort Hood March 31.
“One of our missions is to support our Soldiers and their families because we’re not open and there is a need with supporting the quarantined Soldiers,” Hubbard said. “We work alongside our garrison partners and … USO2GO kits are already a resource that comes from our headquarters, so we’re putting it to use.”
The USO has reacted quickly to the changes that have come from COVID-19 and made adjustments to quickly send kits out to many military installations. Fort Hood’s USO2GO kits arrived six days after the order was placed.
“Because USO headquarters understands this is happening … and other centers, just like Fort Hood, are supporting their own installation with their quarantine mission so, the fact that USO Incorporated sent these to us in a short amount of time that’s how important Fort Hood is to the USO,” Hubbard said.
Over 70 USO2GO kits were delivered to Soldiers in quarantine at North Fort Hood, containing several different items, from snacks to guitars. Usually USO2GO kits are sent to Soldiers overseas, where their brick and mortar locations don’t exist, but in these unique times they can be just as useful here at the Great Place.
“There’s different themes in these kits,” Hubbard said. “One is comforts of home, which is toiletry items, another one is design in the desert which speaks to the creative, musical instruments arts and crafts supplies for the Soldiers to do during their downtime.”
Hubbard’s personal favorite USO2GO kit is design in the desert which supplies Soldiers with materials to fuel their creativity.
“I think the design in the desert is my favorite, only because I am a very creative person,” Hubbard said. “There’s only so much you can do when you are confined and this will not be only a physical break, but a mental break. Music helps, it destresses, art being that creative person helps alleviate the elephant in the room.”
Hubbard is hopeful that the kits will help the time pass by quicker in quarantine as the Soldiers wait to be reunited with their families.
“Because of the rapidly changing conditions of this situation we’re hoping that these little bits of comfort will make their quarantine stay a little better.”
Hubbard and her team are happy to make a difference in the lives of Soldiers no matter the situation and they will definitely stick with them through this trying time.
“It is rewarding to know that we are able to make a difference. Even small, to let our soldiers know that we are with them, we’re always by their side throughout their mission which is our mission. It’s pretty special.”
The great people at the USO here at the Great Place will continue to do what they can to help out our Soldiers in this strange time.
“To our quarantine Soldiers, we know separation is difficult, being separated from your families is difficult,” Hubbard said. “That’s why we’re hoping this little gesture of providing comforts of home will make the time go by faster.”