CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea – U.S. Army Garrison Humphrey’s Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers and the garrison’s Family Morale Welfare and Recreation team, hosted a Soldier, KATUSA, and First Responder appreciation meal at the Downtown Lanes, April 11.
The free meal was provided by the Gary Sinise Foundation's "Serving Heroes Program" which provides meals to service members, first responders and veterans. In Korea, that meal is extended to include Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA) soldiers.
The 1994 “Forrest Gump” actor is an avid supporter of service members and BOSS president, Sgt. Timothy Baso, said the Serving Heroes Program, began the day before Sinise started the Gary Sinise Foundation. Sinise stopped into the United Service Organization (USO) in the Los Angeles airport, and after seeing the service members who were waiting, decided to provide a meal to show his appreciation. Now the Serving Heroes Program is established all over the U.S. and overseas. Sinise learned about KATUSAs while shooting an episode of “Crime Scene Investigation (CSI): New York” in Korea and extended the free meals to KATUSAs.
While the Serving Heroes Program began at the USO, on Humphreys, the garrison’s FMWR BOSS programs and the Downtown Lane manager, Robert Victorine, worked together to host the event which also provided free bowling.
Holly Strout, FMWR marketing manager, said it was wonderful to see service members and KATUSAs come out and bowl together.
“What I saw at the beginning of the meal was lots of (non-commissioned officers) coming in with their units,” said Strout. “It was such good camaraderie and an excellent time for the leaders to get to know their Soldiers. Being stationed at Humphreys can be isolating as a single Soldier and this event creates a comfortable space to let the worries roll away.”
The bowling center is open during lunch the second Tuesday of every month, for service members, fire fighters, military police, Republic of Korea Soldiers, and KATUSAs serving on the garrison. Participants can bowl a game and eat limitless pizza.
“It is simply one way that we can show gratitude and remind our defenders that you are always in our thoughts and prayers,” said Sinise through a letter. “Your service to our country is not forgotten or taken for granted. Enjoy the meal and camaraderie with your fellow service members and the wonderful […] volunteers who care so much. On the behalf of all of us at the Gary Sinise Foundation, thank you. Your grateful pal, Gary.”