Dwayne Gilroy recently retired from the military, but his commitment to service hasn’t waned. As a USO of North Carolina Sandhills Area volunteer, Gilroy continues to give back to his country and fellow service members in a new capacity.
Throughout a 26 year Army career, Dwayne Gilroy, his wife and three boys faced some of the challenges familiar to most military families, like long periods of separation during his three deployments overseas. Gilroy credits the USO with keeping his family connected during some of those deployments.
“It was extremely important. At the USO, you could read a book to your child and video tape it and send it back home,” said Gilroy. “It was before we had smart phones, wifi and FaceTime, so you had to go to a facility to make a phone call or video chat.”
Those experiences inspired Gilroy to apply to be a volunteer at the USO of NC Fort Bragg Center, after retiring in the area. He sees it as an “opportunity to give back.”
When asked about his favorite part of volunteering, Gilroy said that he enjoys speaking and helping young new service members during a very busy day at the center. Supporting young Soldiers reminds him of when he first entered the military at age 17, after moving to the United States from Jamaica where he was born and raised.
“I thank them for their service because they volunteered. They volunteered to serve,” said Gilroy. “They’re so young and the experiences that they go through at this stage in life, it can be overwhelming.”
Gilroy has been volunteering at the USO of North Carolina Fort Bragg Center for just about three months, but he looks forward to continuing his volunteer efforts. He is one of more than 1,000 volunteers that help the USO of North Carolina connect our service members to family, home and country as a true Force Behind the Forces.
“I think it’s a great organization, they do wonderful things, especially the different events for Soldiers and the community and Soldiers deploying and returning. I really appreciate everything that the USO does.”
Learn about how you can join Dwayne Gilroy as a volunteer by clicking here.
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