USO Oklahoma Welcomes Home 2-18 FA Amid COVID-19 Situation

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A volunteer made a welcome home sign for virtual welcome home post on Facebook

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A Soldier from the 75th Brigade picks up hygiene products and hangers for barracks

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Soldiers enjoying USO2GO package in barracks

The 2-18 Field Artillery Battalion (2-18 FA BN) came home to Fort Sill, OK, from their tour in Korea on April 3, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, their arrival was not accessible by those outside of the unit and there was not a public and family facing welcome home ceremony. Upon arrival, single Solders were moved directly to a barracks for a 14-day safety quarantine.
USO Oklahoma provided support in five ways: USO OK provided bottles of water to have on hand at the airport for the Soldiers upon their arrival.
USO OK executed a virtual welcome home on Facebook. We used this opportunity to ask volunteers to make their own welcome home poster, take a picture, and then we posted these photos to Facebook and tagged the 2-18 FA BN. With the knowledge that 2-18 FA BN Soldiers would be meeting their families in the parking lot adjacent to the USO Center on Fort Sill, we also encouraged volunteers to place those posters in the front lawn of the USO Center on Fort Sill. USO OK requested an USO2GO package for the 180 Soldiers in the barracks. The package was delivered a day before their welcome home and all the supplies were set up in the barracks for the quarantine Soldiers. USO OK customarily will provide a welcome home meal to Soldiers after they come home. On April 8, 2020, we were able to do this for the 2-18 FA quarantine barracks by ordering pizza for the 180 Soldiers and having it delivered. Finally, USO OK supplied the barracks with hygiene items. This was important because the Soldiers going into quarantine did not have the opportunity to shop for themselves upon return home. A local supporter, Billingsley Ford, purchased and donated clothes hangers for their closets through USO OK.

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