While her son serves in Iraq, she serves up home-cooked meals to returning soldiers. Susan Vosmik: USO volunteer, Schaumberg, Ill.
Credit: Matthew Gilson

Twenty-eight years ago, Susan Vosmik met her husband, Roger, in the mess hall when they were volunteers with the Illinois National Guard. Today, their son Christopher, 24, is a medical lab technician serving in a combat support hospital in Iraq. "I got started with the USO because they were very good to my son," says Susan, who, along with Roger, helps bake everything from blueberry pancakes and sausage breakfasts to Russian apple cake—all of which she serves to the many soldiers in transit or in waiting at one of the USO facilities in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. "It's so nice to see the troops, thank them personally, and help get them on their way," she says. "For some of them it's the first homemade food they've had since basic training. They're so polite and awesome, and they say 'thank you' constantly. I couldn't be prouder to do it."