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 Monday, Oct. 20, the 293rd day of 2014. There are 72 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The store of Devoe and Crampton was entered and robbed of about $500 worth of gold pens and pocket cutlery last night.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Michael Malloy was named president of the Tri-City Stone Cutters Union.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Dewitte C. Poole, former Moline newspaperman serving as vice consul general for the United States government in Paris, declared in a letter to friends that the once gay Paris is a city of sadness and desolation.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans for the construction of an $80,000 wholesale bakery at 2011 4th Ave. were announced by Harry and Nick Coin, of Rock Island. It is to be known as the Banquet Bakery.
1964 -- 50 years ago: An application has been filed for a state permit to organize a savings and loan association in Moline, it was announced. The applicants are Ben Butterworth, A.B. Lundahl, C. Richard Evans, John Harris, George Crampton and William Getz, all of Moline, Charles Roberts, Rock Island, and Charles Johnson, of Hampton.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Indian summer is quickly disappearing as temperatures slide into the 40s and 50s this week. Last week, highs were in the 80s.


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