Volunteers with the United Services Organization (USO) and highschool students pose for a photo during Operation That's My Dress at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 30, 2019. The event was held by USO Iwakuni so that teens could pick out an American prom dress that would otherwise be difficult to find or have shipped to Japan. (U.S. Marine Corps courtesy photo)
Volunteers with the United Services Organization (USO) and highschool students pose for a photo during Operation That's My Dress at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, April 30, 2019. The event was held by USO Iwakuni so that teens could pick out an American prom dress that would otherwise be difficult to find or have shipped to Japan. (U.S. Marine Corps courtesy photo)

USO Iwakuni supplies dresses to air station teens

by Cpl. Andrew Jones
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan (April 8, 2019) -- The United Service Organization (USO) Iwakuni held an event for Status of Forces Agreement teens to try on and get a free dress at MCAS Iwakuni, March 30, 3019.

The event was named Operation That’s My Dress and was held so that teens could pick out an American prom dress that would otherwise be difficult to find or have shipped to Japan.

The USO held the operation for the first time for 38 teenage girls with their parents or guardians in attendance at the Club Iwakuni ballroom.
Meg Carlson and Gissela Rosiles, resilience trainers with the Families Overcoming Under Stress (FOCUS) Project Iwakuni, started out the activities by giving a keynote speech in hopes of inspiring the teens and boosting their confidence. FOCUS specializes in family resiliency services. The speeches were meant to get the teenagers into the mindset of recognizing their inner beauty. The girls were provided a gift bag with various items and a free meal.

“I have been looking for a dress since the beginning of my senior year at Matthew C. Perry,” said Trinity Wolfe, a student with Matthew C. Perry High School. “I have had absolutely no luck in finding a dress site I could rely on that was affordable. When I found out that the dresses at Operation That’s My Dress were free, I was shocked and really excited. I was also nervous at first thinking that I wouldn’t like any of the dresses provided, but to my amazement, most dresses were modern and stunning.”

Each girl was able to pick out the dress that they liked from an array of dresses made by American designers. The dresses were free of charge to the teens.

Through providing free dresses to teens, the USO works to accomplish their mission by bringing the people of MCAS Iwakuni services that help during their tour in Japan.

“A lot of our programs are focused on connecting families to home,” said Gigi Holman, field programs manager with the USO. “This event really fits into that because we are able to give them something that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to get here. We also want to see a lot of community building so a lot of our events are family focused, or we are going out and serving service members, building the community and making that connection to other people in the community.”

For more information on USO Iwakuni please reach out by phone at 253-6174 or by email at usoiwakuni@uso.org.

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