Saturday, November 1, 2014

Stories, so many stories to tell: Military proposals & Trace Adkins preview for the USO

I like to think of myself as a professional storyteller, thank you very much.

I remember growing up and creating these elaborate tales in my head and trying to act them out with my friend Morgan using our extensive Pound Puppies collections which we further dressed up as wizards or princesses. A wizard stuffed puppy.

I don't apologize for my seven-year-old self's weird innovation.

Looking back, I should have known that I would keep telling stories years down the road. Now, I consider myself lucky to do it for a living and as a personal hobby. I really just can't get enough.

Part of my work at the USO is to write about the touching events that take place at our centers around the world. 

All last week I was working on a special story about a young newlywed couple who, thanks to the help of USO San Antonio, was able to sneak in that perfect proposal moment before the big day.
Here's a snippet from my story:
When most girls dream about their perfect proposal, they imagine flowers, a ring and their future husband down on one knee — not a long-distance call from a boyfriend hundreds of miles away. 

But for Pvt. Zoe Tunchez and Pvt. Emmanuel Aleman, who are stationed at different Army bases, a happy phone conversation seemed like the closest to a fairy-tale proposal they would get. 

That is, until Aleman, his mother, Marita Maldonado, and USO San Antonio teamed up to give Tunchez the surprise of a lifetime.
(You can read the full story here.)
I also had the awesome task of interviewing the multi-platinum country music artist, Trace Adkins, before a concert that his performing for military families in Fort Hood this Saturday, which I will also be attending and covering for the USO.

Adkins told me all about his history of working with the USO and traveling around the world to entertain troops and their families and talked about the strange sense of guilt he feels after performing for a military crowd. Here's an excerpt of my blog post:
When Trace Adkins steps off stage after performing in Fort Hood, Texas, this Saturday, he knows he will feel the guilt. It’s a guilt the eight-time USO tour veteran says he feels after every USO show.

“You’ll never find a more appreciative audience than the members of the military,” Adkins said. “Every USO tour I’ve been on, I leave there feeling a little guilty every time. I always feel like they gave me more than I gave them. And it’s always felt like that.”

The multi-platinum country artist, who previously performed at Fort Hood during the 2010 WWE and NBC ‘Tribute to the Troops,’ says there’s something special about entertaining troops and their families that he’s looking forward to experiencing again at Saturday’s show, sponsored by PenFed Credit Union.

(You can read the full story here.)
These are just a snapshot of some of the amazing work the USO does at its centers each and every day. It's just my job to share the stories of that work. And I love each and every moment I get to do just that.

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