The Metropolitan Washington USO held a Luncheon honoring volunteers and announced the winner of the 2011 C. Haskell Small Award for Volunteerism at the Joint Base Myer- Henderson Hall Officers Club April 16, 2011.

Winner of the USO honor this year was Army Sgt. 1st Class Latrish Thomas. The nominees from each of the other services were Air Force Airman 1st Class Benjamin Hawk, Marine Corps Staff Sgt. David Saldivar, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Miranda A. Mclain, and Coast Guard Systems Technician 3rd Class Ryan Wheeler.

The C. Haskell Small Award for Volunteerism is presented each year by the USO of Metropolitan Washington, Inc. to an active duty service member in the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan region in recognition of volunteer efforts performed while off duty. Nominees must demonstrate a history of noteworthy volunteer achievement for one or more charitable organizations, perform such volunteer service independent of military duty, and possess an outstanding military record.

The C. Haskell Small Award was established in 1984 with board contributions and a grant from the Suevia and Rudolph B. Behrend Foundation, the award is presented in memory of Col. C. Haskell Small. Small served as the president of the USO-Metro from 1971 to 1972.

"The USO-Metro serves one of the largest military populations in the world. The volunteers sitting in the audience today exemplify true selfless service. This past year, volunteers were able to provide over 800,000 acts of assistance to active duty military and their families in the Washington-Baltimore metro region. They consistently provide exemplary assistance to our service members and their families," said guest speaker Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region and U.S. Army Military District of Washington commanding general.

According to the USO, more than 5,000 volunteers played a central role in USO operations while also giving over 68,000 hours of service in 13 locations around the region. These volunteers run programs and stuff care packages. They greet guests at USO Centers, serve snacks, assist in finding travel accommodations, offer a shoulder to lean on in times of need and make magic happen in crisis situations.

"Your volunteer work last year enabled the USO to provide over 12,000 instances of assistance to recovering service members and their families through handshake tours, concerts, excursions, BBQ's and other programs designed to help boost their morale," said Horst.

Literature at the luncheon stated that USO-Metro served more than 125,000 active duty travelers, dependent family members and military retirees at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport as well as at the welcome desk at Andrews Air Force Base.

"So today, we pause to say thanks to each of you for a job well done and to thank you for continuing to be there for our men and women that serve and their families," said Horst.