Members of Team Memorial delivered more than 5,700 items to the USO Welcome Center at Jacksonville International Airport. During the month of July, Memorial Hospital teamed up with Channel 4 to help our troops. Memorial hosted 4 drop off locations, where employees and members of the public could drop off toiletries and snacks.
Mike O’Brien, the Executive Director of the Greater Jacksonville Area USO, said 100% of these donations go straight to our troops. The organization relies on donations for all its supplies, and O’Brien wanted to express his sincere appreciation to the staff at Memorial Hospital, Memorial Emergency Center – Julington Creek, Memorial Imaging – Mandarin and Memorial Family Medicine – Jacksonville Beach.
About 3,000 military men and women and their families from around the world come through Jacksonville's airport every month. The USO Welcome Center is located on the lower level at JIA and is open to all military personnel and their families.
"I often say we have dirt from Afghanistan on our floor, and we really do," said USO Welcome Center Director Jim Bury.
Just before the donated supplies were delivered, a family of six came in after flying all night.
"They were pretty tired and very thirsty," Bury said. "We were able to give them a cold drink and snacks. And the kids, who were 5 and 6. A lot of people forget that the kids serve, too."