Wednesday, October 13, 2010

First USO Center In LA To Open In Memory Of PFC Brian Bates


I'm making this post on behalf of one of my closest friends. Remember when I made my trip to WA to visit my friend who had lost her husband in Afghanistan? Well this is for the same friend. I would appreciate if you could share this post with all you know to help them achieve this goal. Thanks so much in advance. Here's the article and such:

First USO Center In LA To Open In Memory Of PFC Brian Bates,0,5738627.story

GRETNA - Nearly a year after losing a loved one in the war in Afghanistan, one family is pledging to do all they can to open a USO center in the greater New Orleans area. ABC26 News Reporter Vanessa Bolano has more.

Marline Tully lost her grandson PFC Brian Bates last October. She describes him as "The sweetest little boy you would ever want to meet. He grew up hard and fast, but he never lost his sweetness."

Private First Class Brian Bates was only 16 when he fell in love with his wife, Enjolie. After having one child, and expecting another, he decided to join the army.

Enjolie Bates remembers, "I talked to him probably about 12 hours before he died."

PFC Brian Bates left in July 2009 with the 5th brigade. He was the striker driver. He was killed on October 27th when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.

Tully says, "I know that he did what he wanted to do. He was proud and honored to do it, and he did it to take care of his family."

Tully raised him since he was 4. Now, she's keeping his memory alive by teaming up with Charlotte Lawson. The three plan to open the first USO center in Louisiana at Louis Armstrong International Airport and name it after Bates.

Lawson says, "What we're really looking for now is community and military support, both active and retired, to get behind this, to pledge how they're going to be able to help us."

The center supports service members at home and on the battle field. It was at a USO in Dallas that bates recorded himself reading bedtime stories for his kids, a memory they'll have forever.

Together the women hope to get the USO center up and running in about a year, but they need all the help they can get.

If you know someone that they should be contacting email Charlotte Lawson at

Currently the closest United Service Organization is in Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

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