Dick and Helen Kelly started as volunteers at the Pioneer Valley USO in Chicopee, Massachusetts, in November 2011.
Before they became USO volunteers, they were Air Force parents. Their son served as an airman for more than 20 years and they were fortunate to see their son deploy out of Bangor, Maine. The drive from Agawam, Massachusetts, to central Maine is a long trip and it was a late night departure. They were put at ease when they realized the USO was present and there to provide some much-needed refreshments for the deploying service members. They even made some new friends when some USO volunteers came to them and told them about the first time their children deployed and the help they received from the organization.
Since then, the Kellys have been involved in many activities and they help with Pioneer Valley USO’s Monday Night Dinner program. Each Monday, 50 to 100 service members and military families from each branch stationed at Westover Air Reserve Base – Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy – are served a meal that’s planned and prepared by USO volunteers. The opportunity to show gratitude and support our men and women in uniform is what keeps the couple from slowing down.