Cheryl Bare was first introduced to the USO a few years ago while traveling to St. Louis with her Dad. As they were passing through the airport, she saw a group of volunteers supporting a military homecoming at the airport. That moment inspired her.
“I thought, man, I don’t know what this organization’s about, but I want to do something like that,” said Bare. When she got home, she signed up to volunteer.
Bare is a USO of North Carolina Coastal Area Volunteer and the spouse of a Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune. The couple moved to the area in 2014.
Originally from Newport News, Virginia, Bare takes on every challenge, including moving to a new place, and looks at each one as an adventure. “I meet my neighbors and pick up friends and family members everywhere I go,” Bare said.
Even though she’s far from her immediate family. Bare says that her family keeps growing with the relationships she builds along the way. The USO of North Carolina has become a part of that family.
Cheryl currently works at the library on base. She previously served in director roles in finance and operations. In her free time, she loves paddle boarding with her dog, surfing and taking on new adventures.
Among all of her adventures, Cheryl finds the time to volunteer supporting service members as they deploy overseas, delivering birthday cakes to single service members and much more.
“My favorite part is the impact we have. Just being able to be the factor that makes a Marine’s day is so cool,” said Bare.
Her favorite USO of NC experience was volunteering at Camp Devil Dog on Christmas. Each year, the USO of NC Coastal Area team brings the holiday spirit to Marines training in the field, who can’t be with their families.
A few years ago, her husband was deployed and missed every holiday that year. Instead of going home to stay with her family, she made the commitment to spend Christmas at Devil Dog.
When asked why she made that decision, Bare said, “theres a spouse volunteering, just like me, in Europe who’s going to be taking care of my husband on Christmas… I’m going to do my part, taking care of someone else’s important somebody here for Christmas.”
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