Volunteers filled the parking lot at the USO of North Carolina in Jacksonville for the organization’s biannual Fish Fry, Sept 20.

“Our events are focused on community connections,” said Amy Leuschke, Coastal Area Director for the USO of N.C. in Jacksonville. “It is events like this that allow us to put on so much.”

Volunteers from the retired military community as well as active-duty personnel came together to serve a lunch of fried fish and sides to local businesses and members of the community. Members of the USO have been preselling meals for weeks. Volunteer’s breaded fish, operated fryers, packaged trays and delivered food around town.

The fundraiser was organized by Joe Houle, a retired U.S. Marine Corps sergeant major, and Paul Levesque, a retired USMC master gunnery sergeant; both of whom are very active members of the USO.

“We had over 270 deliveries scheduled to local businesses,” said Levesque. “There were over 100 individual tickets sold and people coming showing up to purchase more.”

Most of the food was donated by the Jacksonville Central Council.

“It is important to give back to the community,” said Esau Coleman, private with the Ground Supply School. “I can’t be sitting in the barracks all day, so I try to get out and volunteer as much as possible.”

For more information about the USO of NC in Jacksonville visit https://northcarolina.uso.org/jacksonville.