USO Volunteer of the Year
FORT BUCHANAN, P.R. The United Service Organization (USO) recognized David Shultz with the Volunteer of the Year award, in a ceremony at the 1st Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico’s headquarters, 23 March, for his service around the island during the aftermath of hurricane Maria.
According to the citation read during the ceremony, Shultz, who is Brig. Gen. Dustin A. Shultz’ husband, spent long hours driving through storm ravaged streets and neighborhoods to provide supplies to the newly established USO centers across the island.
“I think most of you were probably here with us during that time of trouble called hurricane Maria and I know that for me, and probably for those of you that were here, we experienced that very present hell in time of trouble. I just want you to know that through that opportunity that God provided me to be able to go around all four corners of the island and help trough the USO. It was a pleasure to help, very appreciative that I had the opportunity”, said Shultz.
After hurricane Maria Shultz was very interested in finding ways to help soldiers and their families, he found out the USO was no longer here so in a travel to Texas for a visit to his daughter in October right after the hurricane, he approached the USO in San Antonio to ask for help for him.
“I really can’t say enough good things about the USO. They didn’t have to do any of the things they did, but they stepped up to the plate, and sent their people here. It was really the USO volunteers that came here who did the heavy lifting and set up those USO centers. I was happy to help but they deserve a lot of credit for helping and going above and beyond,” said Mr. Shultz, shortly after the recognition.
During the emergency, the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico mobilized approximately 2,000 Soldiers in a very short time, to assist the local government with resources, skills and specialized logistical resources, without having to wait for personnel to arrive from the mainland.
Among the services provided to local communities, Soldiers purified over 1 million gallons of water, distributed millions of Meals Ready to Eat, cleared over 125 miles of roads, facilitated communications around the island, provided medical services to over 12,000 patients, assisted the Puerto Rico Forensics Sciences Institute and assisted in the receipt, staging and distribution of materials to restore the electric grid.
With approximately 5,000 Soldiers, the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico has units in all four corners of the island to include Aguadilla, Mayaguez, Yauco, Ponce, Juana Diaz, Ceiba, Salinas, Puerto Nuevo, Virgin Islands, and its headquarters at Fort Buchanan.