Published On: Thu, Apr 11th, 2024

How to Give Back to the Military Community This National Volunteer Month

(StatePoint) April is National Volunteer Month, an annual opportunity to recognize the contributions that volunteers make to their community through their time and energy.

When it comes to a vast operation like the USO, which has more than 250 locations around the globe that serve hundreds of thousands of U.S. service members and their families, volunteers are at the heart of the organization’s mission.

In fact, in 2023 alone, nearly 20,000 USO volunteers at home and abroad contributed more than 1.2 million hours of their time equating to 137 years’ worth of volunteering. Fun fact: Not all the organization’s volunteers are human! Seventy-six canine volunteers contributed 4,800 hours to supporting service members and their families. Staff say that without their volunteers—human and dog alike—they wouldn’t be able to do what they do.

Whether it’s helping at community events for military spouses, greeting guests at the front desk of an airport center, organizing NFL watch parties for those stationed on the frontlines or simply providing a listening ear to a service member in need, USO volunteers help strengthen the well-being of the people serving in America’s military and their families.

Stories like Alina Wilson’s can serve as inspiration to those interested in giving back to their own community. A USO volunteer and military spouse, Wilson lent her support to the military community of Guam when the island was devastated by Super Typhoon Mawar in May 2023. Guam is home to 20,000 service members and also several USO staff and volunteers.

At a time when many USO staff members were navigating the damage done to their own homes and dealing with no power or air conditioning in the middle of a hot and humid Guam summer, Wilson leaped into action. She played a huge role in helping the local USO center open its doors to service members and families recovering from the disaster to provide air conditioning, Wi-Fi connectivity, phones to call home, snacks, coffee, and a place of refuge. She went the extra mile every day by arriving early to prepare the center for opening and often stayed late to provide much-needed support.

“It was a devastating storm for the whole community of Guam. We worked really hard at the Tumon USO to get the power back on. We cleaned every day. We got there and tried to prepare the center to open as fast as we could,” Wilson said.

There are countless ways volunteers can support the military community. To find out more or to register to volunteer, visit

No matter where you live, or what your skill set is, you can take action this National Volunteer Month and make a real difference.

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