In March, the USO Rock Island Center temporarily suspended operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What I thought would only be a few weeks, has now turned into several months.
It’s been extremely hard to momentarily shutter the doors of a center I worked so hard to open nine years ago, in September. I am ready to get the center back up and running, and we are working with garrison command to ensure the health and safety of our volunteers, staff and visitors.
The thing I miss the most about being on the Arsenal is seeing all your smiling faces. I know many families have PCSed or discharged during the pandemic, and I am saddened that I could not celebrate the next steps in their lives. Goodbyes are hard, but not getting to say goodbye has been even harder. I’ve often been referred to on the Arsenal as “Mom” or “Den Mother” by the service members and their families who I used to see nearly every day. I miss all of you.
I want to thank all of those who have reached out to me to check on me during this time. But, I also wanted to take a moment to thank all the amazing volunteers at the USO Rock Island Center and those at the USO Camp Dodge Center who have continued to find ways to help our military community through making comfort and care packs, writing letters, delivering snacks and much more. You are the backbone of our community and I am so honored to work alongside you in support of our military and their families.
I hope to see everyone at the center very soon and hear all of your stories from the last few months.
With Love, Jackie “Den Mother” Inman
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