USO Service Spotlight – Ashley DeBerry

USO Service Spotlight – Ashley DeBerry

USO Okinawa

Position/Title: Center Manager

At the USO: 1 June 2018 to present

Center/Office location: USO Hansen

Ashley was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. As a young adult, she had a great ambition to become a fashion editor. At 18, she moved to Los Angeles to study Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). She lasted three months in L.A. becoming incredibly homesick and broke. Ashley moved back to Seattle, met her husband (whom quickly afterwards joined the Army) and continued to follow her passion for design at the International Academy of Design and Technology, where she graduated with B.A. in Fine Art. In her senior year of college, Ashley landed a job with Nordstrom in Downtown Seattle where she spent the next six years climbing the corporate ladder.  Burned out and ready for a change of scenery, Ashley and her husband transferred to Okinawa where she exchanged heels for flip flops and took a job in scuba.  Before coming to the USO, Ashley spent five years working for MWR at the Torii Beach Scuba Locker where she managed the retail operations and occasionally acted as the dive guide for the Whale Shark Tours. Ashley loves the dive culture – but even more working with our military community and being a part of their journey here in Okinawa.

Fun Questions!
Favorite spot/activity on Okinawa:  Anywhere north of the island/scuba diving. 
Favorite vacation spot: My backyard – the beach!
Hobbies: Running, Dragon Boat, Paddle Boarding, Scuba Diving, Reading
Finish this phrase: “I can’t live without coffee and the ocean.”

Why do you love working at the USO? The genuine thankfulness that we, our staff and volunteers, often receive from our military community for something that may seem simple or easy to us, like a homemade dinner, birthday cake delivery, or a free greeting card to write to loved one back home, is a wonderful reminder of why I love coming to work every day and being a part of this amazing organization.  

What is your favorite memory of working at the USO?  My favorite memory was from our 2019 USO Holiday programming. Our team surprised 750 children at Bechtel Elementary School on McTureous with ice cream treats a few days before their Winter break. Dressed in elf costumes and armed with ice cream, their faces lit up when we strolled into their classrooms. Based on the many huge smiles and big hugs, I feel like we made a lasting impression on our military children and families that day.

Which program do you want to feature from the USO? LEAP (Learning, Engaging, Activity and Play) is a monthly program created to provide families with children a learning-based and play-based activity facilitated by the Marines and Sailors throughout Camp Hansen. The purpose of the program is to unite our service members with our families and challenge them to create something educational together while having fun at the same time. LEAP is now offered at 2 locations! Join us at USO Hansen on the 3rd Thursday of every month from 1130-1230 and/or USO Camp Foster on the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 1130-1230. For all the details check out https://www.facebook.com/USOHansen/

USO Hansen’s Power Hour Beach Cleanup; a 1-hour cleanup held on the 2nd Saturday of the month, a new location is selected each month. Groups and individuals of all ages from our military and local community are invited to participate and support this monthly environmental cleanup effort. Site and details are available on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/USOHansen/

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Tags:
Base:

Recommended Content