Actor Robert Patrick, Singer/Songwriter Michael W. Smith and Chef Robert Irvine to Honor Service Members at 2015 USO Gala

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WHAT: 2015 USO Gala: Honoring Those Who Serve

WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015
6:00 p.m. Welcome Reception/Red Carpet
7:00 p.m. Dinner & Evening Program

WHERE: Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place, NW
Washington, DC 20001

WHO: Master of Ceremonies: Robert Patrick, star of CBS' "Scorpion"
Featured Entertainment: Michael W. Smith, Grammy Award winning recording artist
Special Guest: Robert Irvine, celebrity chef and 2014-2015 USO Gala menu designer
Special Guest: Phil Heath, current and five-time Mr. Olympia
Dr. J.D. Crouch II, President and CEO of the USO
2015 USO Service Member of the Year Award Honorees:
• USO Soldier of the Year: Specialist Christian T. Sheers, Beast Troop, 1st Squadron, 33rd Calvary Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) (Fort Campbell, Kentucky)
• USO Marine of the Year: Staff Sergeant Joseph P. Bednarik, Company E, 2nd Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment Marine Corps Recruit Depot (San Diego, CA)
• USO Sailor of the Year: Petty Officer Second Class Jessica A. Jusino, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) (Newport News, Virginia)
• USO Airman of the Year: Senior Airman TJ Brantley, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Journeyman, 2d Civil Engineer Squadron (Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana)
• USO Coast Guardsman of the Year: Petty Officer First Class Angel Leott, Maritime Safety and Security Team Boston (Boston, Massachusetts)
• USO National Guardsman of the Year: Sergeant Aaron Burdash, 204th Area Support Medical Company, 347th Regional Support Group, Minnesota Army National Guard (Cottage Grove, Minnesota)
2015 USO Volunteer of the Year Award Honorees:
• Airman First Class Eric Chun, U.S. Air Force, Volunteer of the Year, Overseas
• Richard "Dick" Anderson, Volunteer of the Year, Stateside
2015 Spirit of the USO Award Honoree:
• USO Congressional Caucus, on behalf of the caucus the award will be accepted by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL)

WHY: "Scorpion" star Robert Patrick to serve as host, Grammy Award winning recording artist Michael W. Smith to perform as featured entertainer, celebrity chef Robert Irvine and Mr. Olympia 2015, Phil Heath to attend the 2015 USO Gala at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on Oct. 20. Continuing a time-honored tradition of recognizing the heroism of America's enlisted servicemen and women, the USO will present its 2015 USO Service Member of the Year Awards to a service member from each branch of America's Armed Forces. The USO will also present its 2015 USO Volunteer of the Year Awards, as well as its 2015 Spirit of the USO Award, which is given to groups or individuals in recognition of their commitment to troops and their families.

With a fall-inspired dinner menu thoughtfully designed by Irvine, as well as remarks by senior military leaders, the 2015 USO Gala program will pay special tribute to our men and women in uniform as well as focus on how the USO helps connect service members with their family, home and country. One thousand guests are expected to be on hand, with attendees ranging from Washington dignitaries, celebrities and members of Congress to USO corporate sponsors and members of the USO Board of Governors.

Johnson & Johnson

Vice Chairman
Pritzker Military Museum & Library
Procter & Gamble

Huntington Ingalls Industries
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Northrop Grumman Corporation

Four Star
NewDay USA

Three Star
The Coca-Cola Company
Disney | ESPN
WLA, Inc.
UnitedHealthcare Military & Veterans

NOTE: For more information about the USO Gala visit or contact For media inquiries please email To obtain table sponsorship information, contact Kelly Carlin at (571) 385-1365 or

CONTACT: Gayle Fishel 703-908-6433 office

Source: United Service Organizations (USO)