To those who are currently serving or have served in the past: Thank you for your service.
In an effort to give back to the men and women who answered the call, the Armed Services YMCA proudly partners with the U.S. Department of Defense to offer memberships through the Military Outreach Initiative. This initiative allows military members and families to receive access to vital resources that promote youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. More than 87,000 YMCA memberships have been provided to military personnel and their families since the initiative began in 2008.
Locally, our commitment to serving our heroes and their families is no different. In 2007, the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City stepped in to take over the Military Welcome Center at Will Rogers World Airport. Active duty personnel often arrive at the airport to wait for transportation to Fort Sill, and the amount of time they spend waiting can be lengthy. The Military Welcome Center provides those individuals a place to rest, charge their electronics, watch a movie or enjoy refreshments.
More importantly, the volunteers at the Military Welcome Center, many of whom are veterans themselves, can help brief the traveling service members on what they can expect. This allows them to feel a little more at ease in a time where many pieces of their life are in transition. By having a friendly face and a place to rest ready for them when they arrive in Oklahoma City, the chaos of moving to a new base or embarking on their journey for the first time seems a little less overwhelming.
Veterans and military families are also welcome to visit the Military Welcome Center during their travels as well. Individuals interested in learning more about how to volunteer with the Military Welcome Center should contact Paul Urquhart at [email protected]. To donate to the Military Welcome Center efforts, visit ymcaokc.org/give.
The sacrifices made by those who serve is truly an inspiration. The impact made by their families is equally as special. We owe them a debt we can never repay, and it is our honor to give back to these heroes.