United Through Reading program makes its way to West JBB
Bedtime stories may have been put on hold for Soldiers stationed at Joint Base Balad (JBB), but no longer.
Task Force 34 began a cooperative effort with the JBB United Service Organizations (USO) to help families and Soldiers connect during this deployment through reading.
Sept. 29, was the first West-side USO United Through Reading® Military Program at Catfish Air. The United Through Reading Military Program was created in 1990 during the Persian Gulf War, according to www.uso.org.
The program, previously offered for base Soldiers and civilians at the East-side Joint Base Balad USO, is now available weekly to Soldiers and civilians on the West. Participants choose from a wide-variety of children’s books and are taped reading these books to their loved ones. The USO sends the book and the tape home to the Soldier’s family at no cost to the Soldier.
During its first four weeks, more than 100 Soldiers have taken advantage of the program.
“It is an incredible way to share the joy of reading and connect with my children and family at home,” said CW2 Emily Larson, HSC 834th Aviation Support Battalion (ASB) Supply SYS Technician, who reads to her two children weekly.
Not only is this program positive for families, but a morale booster for Soldiers.
“Watching my children talk to me as they view me reading their book brought tears of joy to my eyes; absolutely priceless!” said CPT Cheryl Wachenheim, HSC 834th ASB MEDLOG Officer from Moorhead, Minn.
The package may arrive through the U.S. Postal Service, but it originates from the heart of a Soldier.
CPT Cheryl Wachenheim, HSC 834 ASB MEDLOG Officer
27 Oct., 2008