Volunteer Voices: Susan Stepputtis
In March 2018, Susan Stepputtis saw a news story about opportunities to volunteer during the 2018 Marine Corps Trials, an adaptive sporting event for wounded, injured and ill service members from all over the world. After watching the story, she made some calls and signed up to volunteer for the event with the USO of North Carolina.
After supporting the events that week, she says that she found her purpose volunteering with the USO of North Carolina. Now, one year later, Stepputtis is a superstar volunteer averaging three days of volunteering weekly. From delivering birthday cakes to single service members away from home for the first time, to spreading the word about USO of NC resources to deploying service members and their families, Stepputtis has supported nearly every USO of NC service and program offered.
Stepputtis’ father served in World War II with the Navy and she has two cousins that served in the Marine Corps, but Stepputtis says she’s just always had a soft spot for Marines.
“I just always felt the ethos of the Marine Corps to be the way I try to live my life,” said Stepputtis. “I always say that even though I’m a civilian, I have the heart of a Marine.”
Most days, Stepputtis volunteers with her husband, Rick, and they say that they leave each event with a big smile and a full heart. The two live in Emerald Isle and drive around 45 minutes to support activities at Camp Lejeune and in Jacksonville. Both believe that they “get as much out of it as we put into it, if not more.”
In retirement, the pair moved to North Carolina from Ohio and say that the USO of North Carolina feels like family – a home away from home, not only for service members, but volunteers, too.
When asked about her favorite USO of North Carolina moment, Stepputtis had a hard time picking just one, but decided on the Super Bowl Party she attended at Camp Devil Dog. As a volunteer, she helped bring the Super Bowl experience to hundreds of Marines away at training. When she shared the photo later that night, she captioned her post, “just watching the Super Bowl with 800 of my closest friends.”
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