Sarah Bancroft

Sarah Bancroft (Photo by USO Okinawa)

Name: Sarah Bancroft

Position/Title: Center Operations Specialist

Time worked at USO: 14 months

Center/Office location: USO Hansen, Okinawa

Sarah, originally from Minnesota, is a lover of all things hockey and a proud Marine Corps spouse of seventeen years. Sarah and her husband lived in Okinawa over three separate tours starting in 2010 and she is optimistic they will return for a fourth stint. As a military spouse, Sarah enjoyed a variety of professions including CrossFit coach, cake baker and decorator, a customer service representative at a local bakery, and now as the Center Operations Specialist at USO Hansen. She enjoys physical activity, traveling, reading, cooking/baking, and playing cards games! Additionally, Sarah volunteers at her church as the First Impressions Team Leader. Sarah’s USO journey began several years ago as a volunteer at the Camp Courtney location during her second tour in Okinawa. Once discovering they would be returning to the island for their third tour, Sarah began volunteering again at USO Camp Hansen, eventually accepting a full-time staff position.

Why do you love working at the USO? 

I love working at the USO because my coworkers are amazing! At first there was a lot to learn about the logistics of a military base and protocol, but I worked with a great team who provided valuable insight. I truly enjoy working under our current Center Manager and having a healthy working relationship made my time at USO Hansen very enjoyable. Additionally, I love our volunteers at USO Hansen. It has been amazing to get to know every one of them whether their time on island/USO Hansen is long or short. Having the opportunity to hear their stories, struggles, and triumphs has been very rewarding in a way I did not anticipate.

What is your favorite memory of working at the USO? 

My favorite memory of working at the USO was during this past Christmas season. Parents of a Marine stationed on Camp Hansen flew all the way to Okinawa to surprise him for Christmas but encountered many challenges once arriving. Unfamiliar with the gate location and base access, they walked for over two hours only to discover they could not get on base without an escort. Feeling a little hopeless, the Marine’s mother recalled she recently submitted an Operation Birthday Cake request and still had the contact information for the interim Center Manager. Despite it being a weekend and a day off, our manager answered their call and was able to coordinate with one of our USO Hansen volunteers who raced to sign them on base. Once the parents were aboard Camp Hansen, our volunteers helped arrange the surprise for the Marine, catching the whole interaction on video! When I heard about the weekend’s events, and watched the video, it made my heart melt. It was so emotional to see the love this family shared, and it was a true example of the USO mission. Thanks to teamwork, we were able to help facilitate a lasting memory for this family!


I’d like to highlight our annual USO Hansen Tactical Trunk or Treat which takes place during Halloween. This program is a Community Relations Event and is open to our military families and local community of Kin Town. Local schools also bring their students to participate in a variety of Halloween-themed games, trick or treating, and tour various tactical military vehicles! It’s a big event and one that you sure don’t want to miss! Additionally, I would like to feature our monthly Japanese language classes. One class is a Basic Japanese class, and the other is a Themed Japanese class, which cover a variety of topics. These are geared towards our active-duty service members on Camp Hansen and are taught by the current Center Manager who grew up in Okinawa. Follow USO Hansen Facebook for more up to date programming and events!

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