Jamie Kuehner

by Bari Wald
USO Okinawa
Name: Jamie Kuehner
Position/Title: 2018 Summer Intern
Time worked at USO: June - August 2018
Center/Office location: USO Okinawa Programs Department
Tell Us About Them: 
Jamie came to intern with us all the way from Arizona where she currently attends Arizona State University majoring in Business Law.  She comes from a military family and has lived all over the world, so it was no surprise to us that from day one she jumped right into this environment without hesitation, and thrived. 
Her contribution of 88 internship hours toward the USO Okinawa Programs Department greatly contributed to the success of our Army Week program, Okinawa Memorial Day community relations event, and helped set the foundation for our future events in 2018. Additionally, her published feature story brought positive media attention to our mission and impact.
Jamie’s positive attitude, ambition, and creativity will be missed, but we are very excited to see what the future holds for this bright young star as she enters her senior year, and beyond!
1. Why do they love working at the USO?
When I think about why I like interning at the USO, many reasons come to mind, however all these reasons are centered around the people and environment that make up the USO Okinawa team. From the very beginning of my internship, I immediately felt welcomed and like a valued member of this team. I’m so appreciative for the opportunities that I have had (in so many different areas – radio, community relations, interactions with service members, etc.), and all of that can be attributed to the trust and encouragement that the people of this team gave me since day one.
I never felt like my time was being wasted, or that I was being undervalued with the things that I did, and that is due to the fact that the people at USO Okinawa not only gave me meaningful work to do, but provided me the opportunities to really learn, grow, and be creative within the work that I did. I came into this internship with a general understanding of how different programs / aspects are operated in a professional setting, and I was expecting to somewhat expand on that knowledge, while also adding a great looking internship to my resume. I now realize how much I was underselling this internship, and I am now leaving with gained relationships, knowledge, and experiences that are priceless to me, and that made a greater impact in my life than I had ever thought possible.
2. What is their favorite memory of working at the USO?  
I not only have one, but two favorite memories from interning at the USO. The first is having the opportunity to be a part of the Okinawa Memorial Day event. This day represents one of the most memorable and meaningful experiences of my life, and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to participate in it. I think that a strong sense of community between the Japanese and Americans is vital to the success of any operation here. It is so important to remember the country that we are in, as well as to respect and pay tribute to its culture, and I think that every American on this island needs to attend an event such as this one to really gain perspective as to why we are here, as well as our history here. Overall, it was one of the most moving and impactful ceremonies I have ever seen, and I am so incredibly grateful to have been included in it. 
My second favorite memory from my internship is having my article published. I never imagined that I would have an article published, and the fact that it was about such a meaningful story only made it that much cooler. I truly feel honored to have been able to connect with Captain Michael Hart, as well as his grandfather’s stories here, and it makes me so happy that I was able to assist him. I think that this experience is really what the USO is about and at the heart of our mission, and to see it come full circle with a published article was amazing.
To read Jamie’s article, click here: Remnants of Okinawa connect service member to late grandathers'(https://okinawa.uso.org/stories/67)

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