Special guests at the star-studded event included Rich Little, “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” and President and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, Mr. Dennis Muilenburg.
During the event, Elaine Rogers, president of USO-Metro, noted, “As we pay tribute to the 150th Anniversary of the Medal of Honor, we must remember the tremendous sacrifices military families endure to ensure our freedom and security. The USO’s role is to do the little things that help them know they are supported and appreciated. We need your help to do that.”
The Washington Nationals Baseball Team was honored this year with the Bob Hope Legacy award, for all they do for the Washington metro area military and their families. “As native Washingtonians, my family and I are acutely aware of the significant contributions and sacrifices made by members of our military and their families. They inspire us every day to give back and pay tribute whenever we can,” said Mark D. Lerner, Vice Chairman and Principal Owner, Washington Nationals Baseball Club. “Bob Hope's generosity and dedication set a high standard for all Americans, and we are honored to play a small role in continuing his legacy."
In addition, USO-Metro presented the John Gioia Patriot Award to Terri Santiago, the mother of retired Marine Sergeant Christopher Santiago, who was severely wounded in Iraq. Terri has been an amazing source of strength and inspiration, supporting her son and others as they heal.
USO-Metro’s program also included a Special Salute to our Nation’s Heroes, honoring active-duty service members from each branch of service. The honorees this year were Medal of Honor recipients – 18 Medal of Honor winners attended the dinner in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor. These service members were acknowledged for their courage and selfless service to our nation.
Funds raised at the awards dinner will be used to support and enhance USO-Metro’s many programs and services, including celebrity visits to local military hospitals, programs for families with deployed loved ones and emergency support for active duty troops facing financial hardship.
The USO of Metropolitan Washington is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization chartered by Congress and dedicated to “Serving those who serve, and their families” in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. It is through the generous financial support of individuals and organizations in the local community that USO-Metro is able to fulfill its mission. With the help of nearly 5,000 devoted volunteers, USO-Metro provides programs and services for active duty service members and their families at area military hospitals; through its Mobile USO program; at five USO Centers; four USO airport lounges and through Operation USO Care Package. For more information please visit www.usometro.org.