USO Fort Campbell Connects Female Soldiers, Provides Relaxing Weekend Getaway
According to the 2019 Demographics Profile of the Military Community report published by the Department of Defense (DoD), there are over 224,760 women serving on active duty with another 166,386 serving in the Selected Reserves and National Guard.
These dedicated women serve in every branch of the military, and hold ranks from enlisted personnel to four-star general, and perform critical jobs from doctors to combat engineers.
To celebrate female service members currently stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., USO Fort Campbell hosted a weekend getaway July 24 and 25, for fourteen female soldiers.
During the two-day getaway, these soldiers enjoyed local favorites and some well-deserved pampering at Be Happy Yoga & Salt Cave in Bowling Green, Ky.
The group, guided by MaLissa Harris the USO Fort Campbell Center Operations Supervisor, also enjoyed a visit to the Corvette Museum, the Lost River Boat Cave Tour, Chaney’s Dairy Barn and attended a Hot Rods Minor League Baseball game.
“The USO Female Soldier Weekend Getaway trip was so much fun! It was a great mixture of excitement and relaxation, and it was exactly what I needed to ‘reset’ and unwind. Thank you to the USO and all of their sponsors for a great weekend,” Spc. Mikaela Lambert said.
The weekend getaway also served as meaningful way for female soldiers to connect with their peers.
“As a Senior NCO [Non-Commissioned Officer] this trip always brings me close to a soldier who has questions about the Army and personal (life). It’s an amazing experience,” Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Mercedes said.
“We started offering a ‘Female Soldier Day Out’ at Fort Campbell many years ago because we recognized that there are some populations in our military community that we could offer more tailored programming to,” USO Fort Campbell and Nashville Executive Director Kari Moore said. “As we considered the intersection between program needs and organizational strength or expertise, it became clear that an event for female soldiers would be both well received in the community and fun to execute for the staff.”
When the attendees were asked what they would share with their fellow female soldiers about the weekend getaway, the response was unanimous.
“Definitely a must do! Our guide kept us on schedule and made sure we were all taken care of and enjoying ourselves. Plus, the events made for a great chance even for the shyest of women to connect and relax,” Sgt. Christina Fowler said.
“Escorting these extraordinary ladies is the highlight of my year. They are some of the hardest working ladies and this trip for them is all about them and relaxation,” Harris said. “At the start of the trip the ladies are all very quiet, not sure of who is who. By lunch they are all starting to get comfortable with each other and discussing units, jobs in the military, hometowns, etc. and starting to connect. By the end of the trip, they are all sisters, exchanging numbers and sharing plans to get together again.”
The USO creates and maintains strong connections between service members and their families, homes and country, no matter where they serve. USO Fort Campbell’s ‘Female Soldier Weekend Getaway’ demonstrates the USO’s and America’s gratitude and commitment to service members and their families through programs focused on connection, strengthening, wellness and resiliency.
“What we’ve seen as we’ve delivered, innovated, and grown the program is that when the women come together, they build meaningful connections through their shared experience, Moore said. “They share, they laugh, and they have a blast. These impactful moments and sweet memories are the very essence of USO mission delivery, and we love that we have an opportunity to offer this program each summer.”
To learn more about USO Fort Campbell’s upcoming events and how you can get involved visit fortcampbell.uso.org/events
- USO Staffer Sarah Kemp contributed to this article
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