By Staff Sgt. Christopher McCulloughFebruary 18, 2014
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Everyone loves popcorn. With all the rain and cold outside this time of year, it might just be the perfect food for staying at home, watching TV or enjoying the company of a significant other.
That's what made it so perfect when volunteers from the United Service Organization's Northwest Shali Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord teamed up with the Boy Scouts of America from Vancouver, Wash., to deliver popcorn to 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division soldiers Feb. 12.
"Our Portland office was contacted by the Boy Scouts of Vancouver, and knowing the soldiers at JBLM would have a greater need for the popcorn they arranged to have 18 pallets of it delivered here," said Andrew Oczkewics, the manager of the USONW Shali Center.
In order to expedite the delivery of the popcorn to service members in time for Valentine's Day, Oczkewicz arranged ground transportation for the popcorn to be delivered from the Portland area to the soldiers on Feb. 12 so that the military units would have time to distribute it.
"The USO's primary goal on this mission was that the product was delivered to the troops immediately and we were able to do that," Oczkewicz said.
When the popcorn arrived at the USO Northwest's facility it was promptly distributed to JBLM soldiers from the second and third Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, as well as other units from across the post to include airmen from the 62nd Airlift Wing.
Sgt. Maj. Linwood Bailey, of Fayetteville, N.C., the operations sergeant major for 3-2 SBCT, said he appreciated the donation from the Boy Scouts and expressed what this would mean to the troops.
"We really appreciated the donation from the Boy Scouts," Bailey said. "This simple gesture shows the support that our surrounding community gives to soldiers."
The USONW has a long relationship with JBLM and provides many services to the soldiers and airmen stationed here. According to their website, "The USO Northwest is a nonprofit [organization], here to provide all the comforts of home to service members and their families. Through various programs and services, the USONW has provided support to 540,000 service members and families in 2012." Some of those programs include the distribution of troop favorites such as the Boy Scouts' popcorn this month and Girl Scouts' cookies in April.