News>Service members support Team USA during 2012 Olympic, Paralympic Games
LONDON – Angelina Trezel-Vassell, gray shirt, wife of Maurice Vassell, 48th Force Support Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, organizes charts at the USA Olympic Team Processing Center July 25, 2012. More than 300 volunteers from U.S. Visiting Forces military bases across the United Kingdom signed up to help in preparation for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jerilyn Quintanilla)
LONDON – Staff Sgt. Steven Conine, 748th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, sorts apparel at the USA Olympic Team Processing Center July 25, 2012. U.S. servicemembers, civilian employees and family members from across the United Kingdom volunteered to help with processing and set up in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jerilyn Quintanilla)
LONDON – Tech Sgts. Adrian Estrada, left, 422nd Air Base Group, RAF Croughton, and Ron Hoop, 48th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, keep watch outside the USA House July 25, 2012. Servicemembers, civilian employees and family members from military bases across the United Kingdom volunteered at the USA House as well as the Team Processing Center. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jerilyn Quintanilla)
LONDON – Specialist Hector Santana-Diaz, NATO CIS Support Agency, Northwood, organizes boxes at the USA Olympic team processing center July 25, 2012. Servicemembers, civilian employees and family members from across the United Kingdom volunteered to support Team USA during the 2012 Olympic Games. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jerilyn Quintanilla)
LONDON – Bags are issued to the Team USA Olympic athletes containing official sponsored apparel for the 2012 Olympic Games in London July 25, 2012. More than 300 members from U.S. military communities in the United Kingdom volunteered in preparation for the upcoming Olympic Games. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jerilyn Quintanilla)
by Senior Airman Jerilyn Quintanilla
100th Air Refueling Wing
7/31/2012 - LONDON, England -- More than 300 members from U.S. Visiting Forces military bases across the United Kingdom volunteered to help the U.S. Olympic Committee in preparation for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games.
Volunteers, including active duty service members, civilian employees and family members, signed up for opportunities in the weeks before and throughout the duration of the games.
"I volunteered because it's a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Senior Airman Christopher Hughes, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron. "I was able to participate in one of the biggest events of the year, one that the entire world is watching."
Volunteers from the bases were divided between USA House hospitality duties and the team processing station, where they organized team apparel for distribution assisted athletes with uniform fittings, and provided support for USA House daily operations. The military community's support for Team USA has not gone unnoticed.
"They have worked super hard. They get the job done; they're organized; they listen to direction. They have been fabulous," said Katie Clifford, Team USA processing director. "I don't think we could have pulled this off if we didn't have the military with us."
Soon after the Olympic Games wrap up, the Paralympics are scheduled to kick off. Again, Team USA is looking to U.S. military families for support. At this time, the USOC still has more than half of its critical volunteer positions yet to be filled.
"We want to make every effort possible to fill these mission-critical roles in support of the Paralympics," said Maj. Rye Whitehead, U.S. Air Forces in Europe - United Kingdom political military advisor, who is heading up the Olympics volunteer efforts. "This is a once-in-a-life time opportunity to get involved in history, as well as support support our paralympians, many of whom are veterans and wounded warriors."Volunteer opportunities at the Paralympic Games include: Team processing set up, hospitality, operations at the Friends and Family Center and apparel sorting.
Those interested in volunteering for the Paralympics should contact their unit Paralympics volunteer coordinators by Aug. 15. Unit representatives are as follows:
100th Air Refueling Wing: Capt. Laura Easton at email@example.com
48th Fighter Wing: Master Sgt. Derek Hulsey at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 501st Combat Support Wing and mission partners: Capt. Lindsey McQuiston at email@example.com and Master Sgt. Shiona Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org
NATO Northwood: Maj Sang Han at email@example.com
Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (Imjin Baracks) Lt. Col. Mark Young at firstname.lastname@example.org