It's a privilege for me to meet and serve some of our interesting active and retired dept of defense peeps who come through our door at the USO at pdx. Admittedly, we're not as large, or as sexy as some of the USO facilities around the globe. We're kinda 'peanuts' in comparison. At least we have one now!
I often work the early shift (0-dark-30) 5am-9am, so it's not always hopping. But yesterday, Valentine's Day, I had the privilege to meet and visit with 3 people who made my day!
First, the wife of a soldier stationed in Colorado, was in transit on her way to Hawaii. She works for the government doing census. Born and raised on Oahu, her mother still lives there, and her job affords her the opportunity to visit her often, and relieve her daughter who cares for grandma. We had a delightful conversation as she told of some of the experiences she'd had in going door to door taking the census. It gave me a new perspective on this steady, 'under the radar', mission. Not glamorous to be sure, but our common ground of caring for an aging parent, and my personal love for all things Hawaii certainly didn't hinder.
Shortly after she left to catch her flight, a couple came in who I could have sat and chatted with for hours! As it was, I stayed and talked with them well after the 9am crew came in. Retired from the Navy, he had been stationed in Guam at the end of Vietnam. Later in his career, they both had taught in a military base school in Japan. They are people who loved serving in the military and took the travel as an opportunity to experience different cultures as fully as they could.