USO Courtney Volunteer of the Quarter: Victoria Pope
Name: Victoria Pope
Location: Camp Courtney, Okinawa
Occupation: Pampered Chef Consultant
When did you first begin volunteering with the USO?
I began volunteerings when Operations Manager, Henry Huges, first started the focus groups for USO Courtney during the 2013 summer. I cannot remember the exact date, but it has been a while since we first started dreaming up our new center.
How did you hear about us and what made you want to get involved with the USO?
I can’t remember exactly who invited me to the USO focus group, it was either my FRO or Leah Gove. They told me about the focus group and I thought it was a wonderful chance to be a part of something in our Courtney/McT community.
How has your experience been so far?
I have loved it! I love that the USO gives volunteers and members of the community so much flexibility to really take ownership of our centers, and allows us to be so involved in creating programming that directly benefits our military community.
What have you found as your greatest strength as a volunteer?
I think my greatest strength is my people skills. I am good at networking and “rallying the troops” of volunteers to come out and help support the various USO efforts. I think I come up with some unique ideas for programming as well, such as the pre pay-day lunches.
What keeps you coming back?
The people. The people I get to “work” with and the people I get to “serve.” With the USO you really do always get to see a smiling face. Everyone on the USO team is happy and willing, and the people we serve are always appreciative and happy too. Overall, it is a very positive environment and just makes me want to do more.
Do you have an inspiration story you can briefly tell me about?
An inspiration story? About who inspires me as it relates to the USO? If so, I do. When I first got involved, it was after seeing SgtMaj Saucedo, who was currently with HQBN on Okinawa, put so much personal effort into getting the Courtney USO off the ground. He put in hours, and labor, working on getting the USO on Courtney, and I found it inspiring that a person who was that important within our unit took the time to give back. I was already involved within our unit and I felt him and his wife, had wonderful character and their dedication to the USO is what inspired me to get involved as much as I did. Once I went to the first planning group, I was hooked.
Fun Fact about yourself:
I am not sure how fun of a fact it is, but unknown tidbit, I was on an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation when I was younger.