Arsenal USO reopens


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Posted Online: Jan. 31, 2013, 11:13 pm
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By Sarah Hayden shayden@qconline.com
Military families now have a place to relax and socialize on the Rock Island Arsenal.

The USO celebrated its expanded facility Thursday with a ribbon cutting attended by a standing-room-only crowd of about 100 people.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, said she was honored to speak at the event, considering the new facility is only the USO in Illinois outside of the Chicago area, where there are five.

"That's why this USO is so important," she said. "What will make this successful is if we come together and continue the kind of giving that made this possible."

The 2,000-square-foot area feels like a comfortable apartment with couches, chairs, a television, books and a kitchen with refreshments.The $62,000 renovation included new paint, carpeting and fire alarm system.

A foosball table sits in the corner, and a small room off to the side holds three computers.On the wall hangs an intricate handmade quilt with the USO logo, donated by Terry Austin.Furniture was donated by JC Penney, and Olde Towne Bakery has offered to donate baked goods each Wednesday.

Families can use DVD players, borrow books or use the space for meetings, said Jackie Inman, Rock Island center director.

"There is a great military community here," said Alison Ruble, President/CEO of USO of Illinois. "We realize the value of getting the USO into military life, and it was a chance to partner with Army Community Service. There are so many local events we can partner with."

The USO shares common office space with Army Community Service in Building 110 on the Arsenal.

ACS provides social services to military and civilian employees of the Arsenal.ACS Director Tere Pouch said she was looking forward to a working partnership with the USO.

"I couldn't have asked for a better situation," she said.

ACS co-division chief Jan Saito said the USO space will be great for military kids to spend time or for use as a meeting space.

"This is an exciting day for us as an organization," said Ms. Ruble. "Our mission is a labor in love. I'm so happy to support military families and all they do. We're at the front door of the military every day. We want this to be a home away from home."

The USO was established in 1941 to enhance the quality of life for American troops and their families. The nonprofit organization relies on private donations.


















 



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  Today is Wednesday, July 30, the 211th day of 2014. There are 154 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: After Sept. 1, every small box of matches will be required to have a 3 cent duty Lincoln stamp on it, and every large box will be one cent for every 100 matches.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Rock Island residents had contributed a total of $1,293 to the American Red Cross for the Johnstown flood relief fund.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Capt. Clark Means, new darkhorse twirler for the ARGUS staff, was in great form in his initial contest as a mound laborer. The result was that THE ARGUS trimmed the Union 6-5.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Hunter and Humprey Moody, young Decatur, Ill, brothers, lack only a few hours of establishing a new world light plane endurance record.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Gates of the 110th annual Mercer County Fair swing open tonight at Aledo for a full week of day and night activity. More that $36,000 will be paid in premiums and race purses.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The baseball field carved out of the cornfield near Dyersville, Iowa, continues to keep dreams alive for hundreds of visitors. Tourists from 26 state and France have visited Dan Lansing's farm to see the baseball diamond seen in the hit movie "Field of Dreams."






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