Las Vegas USO supports troops, families through transition
By Senior Airman Alexandria Slade, 926th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 15, 2016
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nevada -- The United Service Organization of Las Vegas at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, has a mission to keep service members and their families connected, not only to each other, but to available resources and organizations while shifting between the challenges associated with a military career.
With 180 operating USO locations around the world, the Nellis AFB office located in the Community Commons building focuses on helping veterans experience a successful transition through a team of Rally Point 6 representatives. RP/6 is a partner program under the USO Transition 360 Alliance that guides service members, past and present, to center their goals, create an action plan, find the right resources and receive the information they need for a variety of life developments from finding new employment in the local area to moving to another military installation or city.
“Our mission is to provide transition support for veterans who are actively serving and on their way to civilian life, as well as retirees and dependent family members,” Clay Barber, Las Vegas USO RP/6 scout, said. “We help these veterans and their families develop a plan for employment, education, benefits, housing, or even volunteerism, and then connect them with the best resources or organizations that specialize in their goal.”
While Barber said the most common conversion that people think about is active duty moving on to civilian life, he and his team also help Reserve and guard members.
“For guard and Reserve members, we usually help them find jobs in the local area if they’ve given up their positions for a deployment,” Barber said. “When these members get back, we help them develop a plan and become connected to the local community and their family. We help Reserve members new to the area to find employment and explore the community or those moving to another city to connect with resources there.”
If service members have transition needs outside the scope of the RP/6 program, they will be connected with a USO partner program that better fits their needs. Partner programs under the USO Transition 360 Alliance include Comfort Crew for Military Kids, Stronger Families and Hire Heroes USA.
“The USO Transition 360 Alliance partners are located all over the country,” Kelly Folliard, Las Vegas USO RP/6 site manager, said. “For example, the closest Hire Heroes USA office is in San Diego, so if we host a workshop for them, they come from San Diego to assist. We host some of these other workshops for the base through our office, but our main focus is the RP/6 program.”
Through the contributions of volunteers, USO locations around the world and in Las Vegas are also able to respond to requests from service members to help with unit functions, greeting military members when they arrive back from a deployment, or manning a USO center where military members can connect to their families and relax while travelling. Through these volunteers and the work of the RP/6 members, the Nellis AFB USO supports 20 events on average each month.
“Our program is effective because we don’t enable, we assist,” Barber said. “I enjoy this job because this is my family that I’m helping to reach its goals. This is a great opportunity to come in every day and teach others how to help themselves and where to go for what they need.”
Veterans and their families in need of USO services can call the Las Vegas USO at Nellis AFB at 702-652-0965 or register on the local USO website at https://lasvegas.uso.org/. Registration information entered on this website will notify the USO team at Nellis AFB to contact visitors for their specific needs.