New USO Center Opens On Arsenal - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

New USO Center Opens On Arsenal

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A new 'home away from home' for soldiers on the Rock Island Arsenal—USO Illinois opened a new center for soldiers and their families Thursday. 

The non-profit organization helps run community events and programs to support military families. They have support centers all over the country and now there's one in the Quad Cities. 

For Volunteer Richard Straub, the USO has helped his son while he was in the military, able to use centers like this whenever he was away.  

"I know when he traveled, USO centers were always important to him," Straub says, "When he wasn't home, USO filled in that gap; members and volunteers would always make him feel welcome as part of a family." 

The USO provides support and celebrates homecomings with soldiers. There are six centers in Illinois, and before now all of them were in Chicago. 

Now, soldiers visiting and those who call the QC home will be able to get that support too.  

"It's a home away from home," USO President & CEO Alison Ruble says, "No matter where we go, we're always going to provide that special sense of when they walk through the door, they can put down their bags, they can put away their uniform or the cares of the day." 

Members say the center will provide community meals, children's events, and activities for military families, whether they're coming home or to their home away from home. 

"It's just a nice place to come and relax and enjoy family get together at times, or if they just wanna have a break time they can come in and use services like this," Straub says. 

"When they come home we're at that homecoming and while they've been deployed, the USO is taking care of their families," Ruble says, "There's a continuum of care so we hope that extends to the communities."