Annual Awards Dinner Honorary Guests Giving Back to the National Capital Military Community

USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore was honored to host a number of celebrity guests and influential representatives at its 36th Annual Awards Dinner. A variety of celebrity guests attended the annual celebration honoring the service and sacrifice of our Nation’s Armed Forces. Their support did not stop there. Throughout the week of the USO-Metro’s Annual Awards Dinner, celebrity guests ventured throughout the National Capital Region to military bases, hospitals, and spouse events. Guests ranging from NASCAR legends to celebrity chefs were able to visit our nation’s heroes, meet-and-greet with wounded, ill, and injured service members, and show their appreciation to our very own military community.

NFL Hall of Famer, Terry Bradshaw

The Master of Ceremonies of the 36th Annual Awards Dinner and NFL legend, Terry Bradshaw, spent his extended weekend meeting and greeting military members throughout the Metropolitan Washington area. Upon his arrival, the four-time Super Bowl Champion toured Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Meeting wounded, ill, and injured service members, Mr. Bradshaw enjoyed his time hearing stories from those who were recovering and rehabilitating. The tour was then followed by a visit to the USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda. It was there he was introduced to USO-Metro Art and Music Resiliency Program participants.

Friday Morning, the Master of Ceremonies was then invited to participate in an Army Special Honor Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. The honorary ceremony was followed by a tour of the Pentagon with United States Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, and Chief of Staff of the Army, General Mark A. Milley.

Photo Provided by World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. - Courtesy of Allison Shelley

WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry, Superstar Lacey Evans, and Ambassador Dana Warrior

USO-Metro was honored to have welcomed three representatives from WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), the first-ever recipient of the USO-Metro Legacy of Hope Award. WWE Hall of Famer, Mark Henry, NXT Superstar and former U.S Marine Lacey Evans and WWE Ambassador Dana Warrior showed WWE’s support for the U.S. military with a visit to Marine Barracks Washington before attending the Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday. Meeting and greeting with hundreds of service men and women, the three superstars were able to interact, share stories and experiences, and even meet the Marine Corps official mascot, Chesty the Bulldog.

An incredible opportunity to interact with Marine Corps troops and personally show their appreciation for the military community in the National Capital Region.

Photo Provided by NASCAR

NASCAR Legends Richard Petty and Michael Waltrip and Superstars Kurt Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

This year’s USO-Metro Legacy of Hope Award recipient was NASCAR for its own Military Initiative Programs: NASCAR Salutes, Honoring Gold Star Families, and NASCAR Troops to the Track. NASCAR’s Mike Helton accepted the award along with NASCAR Legends Richard Petty and Michael Waltrip, as well as two current racing champions Kurt Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Earlier in the day prior to receiving their outstanding award, the group was invited to an Army Special Honor Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier. The prestigious ceremony was followed by a tour of the base and meet-and-greet with troops stationed on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

NASCAR legend, Michael Waltrip, posted the following statement on his Instagram after the honorary wreath laying: “I’m afraid I can’t find the proper words to express the gratitude I have for what I experienced today. But I’m going to try. Having the honor and opportunity to place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a moment I’ll never forget. Thank you to all our military who have served and sacrificed so that we can live in this great country…”

Photo Provided by Miss America Organization

Miss America 2018, Cara Mund

Continued supporter of USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, Miss America 2018, Cara Mund, had an eventful week spending time with service men and women throughout the National Capital Region. After her hilarious USO-Metro Instagram take-over at the awards ceremony on Thursday, Ms. Mund spent her Friday morning at a Spouse Breakfast Event at the Fort George G. Meade USO Center and spent her Friday night in the Marine Barracks Ceremonial Parade. On Saturday, Cara was announced as a special guest at USO-Metro’s Project Cinderella, an event filled with workshops and gown giveaways in support of military women embracing their authentic beauty.

Chef Robert Irvine

Long-time USO-Metro supporter, Chef Robert Irvine, is a known ‘regular’ guest at the USO-Metro Annual Awards Dinner. His ultimate determination to give back to the local military community has resulted in excellent culinary programs at USO Warrior and Family Centers. Prior to attending the 36th Annual Awards Dinner, Chef Irvine spent his Thursday morning visiting the U.S. Army’s Old Guard on Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall located in Arlington, VA. Irvine, who had just returned from the Vice Chairman’s USO Tour with Vice Chairman of the Joint Cheif Staff, General Paul Selva, has spent the entirety of his month visiting military bases all over the globe. Chef Irvine continues to give back to our Nation’s Armed Forces, and support our military community in the Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore Region.

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