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    Giving Back – USO Metro Opens Quantico Center

    Giving Back – USO Metro Opens Quantico Center

    Photo By Cpl. Quinn Hurt | Austin Hall, situated West of I-95, will be home to the new USO, which is set to open...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Paige Verry 

    Marine Corps Base Quantico

    Austin Hall, located on the west side of Marine Corps Base Quantico, is being renovated into a United Service Organization center that will include music, art, seasonal festivals, spouse events and transitioning programs. These opportunities make for a bright future for service members, their families and volunteers aboard MCBQ.
    The USO was founded in preparation for World War II to maintain morale. For more than 77 years, the USO has been the nation’s leading organization serving U.S. military members and their families.
    The USO is not part of the federal government. It is a private organization that depends on the generosity of volunteers for support.
    USO Metro covers the National Capital Region of USO centers, and is one of the few USO organizations operating continuously since 1941.
    The United Service Organizations Inc. is a nonprofit, charitable corporation that provides performances from comedians, actors, musicians, social facilities, and other programs to members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. USO Metro locations will be expanding to include MCBQ on March 9, 2020.
    “Last year the stars aligned,” said Michelle Shortencarrier, public affairs manager for USO Metro. “Once we finally had the budget and location, it happened fairly quickly.”
    While the USO and the Single Marine Program have similarities, such as volunteer opportunities, the programs differ. The SMP focuses on active duty single Marines who are E-5 and below, while the USO caters to all servicemembers and their families aboard the installation with programs onsite. In addition to providing a house for entertainment and relaxation for military members away from the barracks, the SMP also provides opportunities for service members to get off the base and explore.

    “We provide trips, as well as events on base or at the barracks,” said Marie Roper, an assistant with the SMP. “We provide things like barracks bashes, movie nights, and improving Marines’ quality of life.”
    The Quantico USO center is in need of volunteers from the installation and surrounding community, having filled only 75 of the 200 slots desired. Volunteers can expect to commit to four hour shifts, doing anything from greeting at events, to working at the desk, or providing a listening ear to those in need.
    One such volunteer is Cpl. Kelly D. Kwantoro, an infrastructure manager with MCBQ G6.
    Kwantoro began volunteering to give back to her community, and to show a sense of selflessness.
    “Helping people feels good,” said Kwantoro, “It shows them that someone in the world cares.
    I feel relaxed when I volunteer because it’s a chance to step away, meet new people and make new friends,” she continued.
    More than 30,000 volunteers currently support the mission of USO Metro to continuously support service members.
    “If it weren’t for the volunteers,” said Shortencarrier, “the USO would not exist.”
    Yanci Beers, supervisor for the new Quantico USO center, reinforced the need for volunteers due to the center operating 365 days a year, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    Beers expressed her excitement for what the new center will offer to the Quantico community.
    “Thanks to community partners and Marine Corps Base Quantico organizations, the building is being renovated and will offer a snack bar, kitchen, theater room, small business center, gaming room, party deck, multi-purpose area, fire pit and an activity field.”
    Beers also mentioned that an additional perk to having a center at Quantico is the ability for servicemembers to have easy access to some TicketLine opportunities instead of traveling to Ft. Belvoir or further north to pick up tickets. Military members and their families may register for TicketLine email updates at to be alerted when complimentary tickets to sporting events, concerts, and more, become available.
    The ribbon cutting and final opening of the USO is set to take place March 9, 2020 and the center will be open to patrons that afternoon until 9 p.m. To fill out the volunteer application form for the Austin Hall USO, visit



    Date Taken: 02.12.2020
    Date Posted: 02.12.2020 09:31
    Story ID: 362702
    Location: QUANTICO, VA, US 

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