At Wednesday's 57th annual Welcome Home Luncheon, Elaine Rogers was honored with the Salute Award presented by StreetShares thanks to her relentless work pushing USO-Metro to new heights for more than four decades.
Ms. Rogers began her work at the USO of Metropolitan – Baltimore (USO-Metro) in 1976. She quickly proved herself and became president in 1977. Over the past 41 years, USO-Metro has grown to become the largest charter USO in the world, and serves as a model for a charity changing with the times.
With nine locations and a "deployable" Mobile US), USO-Metro provides signature USO services across the greater metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Baltimore area where more than 300,000 troops and their families reside and the 150,000 who travel through local airports. Under Ms. Rogers' leadership, USO-Metro has increased the scope and depth of the programs it provides to active duty military and their families, wounded, ill and injured and their caregivers.
Throughout her tenure, Ms. Rogers has worked to grow private and corporate annual donations from $100,000 to over $14 million in cash, goods and services. She has successfully developed the volunteer roster from 50 to more than 5,000 at its peak. This dedicated volunteer corps, along with meticulous, program-focused management continues to ensure that 86.4 cents out of every dollar donated goes directly to programs and services. USO-Metro holds a Four-Star rating from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest charity evaluator.
In partnership with USO, Inc., USO-Metro opened the two largest USO centers in the world – a 25,000 sq. ft. USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir and the 16,000 sq. ft. USO Warrior and Family Center Bethesda, located adjacent to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at NSA Bethesda.
For her tireless dedication to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families, Ms. Rogers has been recognized by the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force with service awards and medals. She has also been honored by the Secretary of Defense with Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, by the Military District of Washington, the Doctor Mary E. Walker Award, Distinguished Public Service Award from Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and most recently, George Washington Chapter of AUSA's 2018 Commander-in-Chief Award.
In Oct. 2017, Ms. Rogers became a committee member of the Department of Veteran Affairs' Veteran's Family, Caregiver, and Survivor Federal Advisory Committee. The Committee works on matters related to Veterans' families, caregivers, and survivors across all generations, relationships, and Veteran status, with a focus on gaining a better understanding of the use of VA care and benefits services, and factors that influence access, quality, and accountability for those services. A key element of the committee's is to engage Veteran family members, research experts, and family service providers as a way to better understand their needs and identify ways VA can continue to support them in the best possible way.