Volunteer Story: Harry Fear

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A photo of Harry Fear during his time in service. Photo courtesy of Fear.

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A photo of Harry Fear during his time in service. Photo courtesy of Fear.

Our USO of North Carolina locations are staffed by an amazing group of nearly 800 volunteers. They have a wide range of backgrounds. Many are veterans. Many are civilians. They are from different eras, and each has an amazing story to tell. As part of National Volunteer Week, we’d like to take a moment and say thank you to our volunteers who are the Force Behind the Forces, and tell some of their stories.

Harry Fear is an Army veteran who volunteers every Saturday at the USO of NC center located in the Charlotte airport. Today, he turns 92 years old, but that doesn’t stop him from commuting about 26 miles for his volunteer shift.

Fear enlisted in the Army in 1943 and operated a BAR (browning assault riffle) as part of the 34th Infantry Division. He served for approximately three and a half years, and although he didn’t deploy to Europe as part of World War II, he joined his comrades in North Africa. As a World War II era veteran, Fear loves spending time with the newest generation of service members and sharing stories with them when they come through the door of the Charlotte center.

“I enjoy the opportunity meeting with them and exchanging stories and hearing them. Most of my time is spent as a greeter at the front desk. I enjoy that because I engage them in conversations and it’s just a great opportunity I think. I’ve enjoyed that immensely,” said Fear.

Fear has been volunteering for about seven years, and has clocked around 600 hours total with the USO of North Carolina. Through volunteering, he has met a lot of service members and families that stand out in his memory. One of his favorite moments volunteering at the center was when a Medal of Honor recipient stopped by the center. The volunteer team on duty made an announcement and everyone in attendance recognized him with a round of applause. Another service member in the group had actually served with him although they hadn’t met in person, and the two embraced each other and shared stories.

“It was a touching moment,” said Fear.

Fear will have been married to his wife for 69 years in September and the couple are extremely proud of their children and five grandchildren.

As he continues to volunteer, Fear hopes to be able to see the USO Show Troupe in action.

If you’re interested in joining Harry Fear as one of our amazing volunteers, please visit https://northcarolina.uso.org/support/volunteer.

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