Volunteers and veterans in North Carolina step up to help families of deployed soldiers


FORT BRAGG, N.C. — As troops head to the Middle East on deployment, volunteers with the USO are there to help fill that void for families left behind.

More than 3,000 service members are set to be deployed to the Middle East as tensions rise following Friday’s US airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

Many of the deployed troops are from the Immediate Response Force of the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. There, the USO, a nonprofit organization, is providing entertainment and other programming to service members and their families.

“We are actively serving our service members with our Mobile Center providing morale-boosting goodness. Our donors have stepped up by providing fast donations in response to our request,” said Brian Knight, Sandhills Area Director of USO of North Carolina.

Some of the donations, Knight said, include Dunkin’ Donuts providing 1,000 donuts a day for the past three days, Mati providing 550 cases of energy drinks, Kind sending three pallets of protein bars and Community Coffee providing coffee for USO volunteers.

Knight also said the organization is planning special events for families of deployed service members, like “a special storytime for the children by reading a story that deals with the stresses of deployments.”

There will also be Community Connections Coffee Chats, Knight said.

“These chats can be tailored to whatever the need is,” he said. “As time goes by the needs will change and we will adapt.”

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