USO – The Fantastic World of USO


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Fantastic World of USO

USO

Many of you may have heard about a program called the USO and many of you may not know exactly what they do. The USO was formed in 1941 as America was impending entering into WWII. Many groups were mobilizing to gather support for our military members. So President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the United Service Organizations with the common objective to provide the emotional support our troops needed.

In May 6, 1941, three months after the birth of the USO program, the most widely known tradition to date, led by the USO was founded by Bob Hope. Bob Hope gathered a group of celebrities to perform for airmen stationed at March Field (now March Air Force Base) in California. Mr. Hope, pictured below, in September 1942 at the USO in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Bob Hope USO

Bob Hope at USO

Over time this great organization has evolved and expanded to cover many areas service members needs. Such as creating programs to help military families stay connected with a program they call “Operation Phone Home”. Which offers prepaid international phone cards for deployed troops free of charge. Another fantastic program (also my favorite) is called “United Through Reading”. Which actually started as a California non-profit organization, and partnered with USO in 2006. This program targets those in our military families that can easily be overlooked, our children. The military child is probably affected the most during times of deployment. It is often confusing and many times it is like they go through all the stages of grief.  United Through Reading bridges the gap between soldier and child. Soldiers read a book out loud while being recorded on DVD for their kids. This service is available at many military installations all over the world. Then the DVD and book are mailed to the child and family back home. (Side note: Due to children’s book shortages, my family has never received the book with the DVD.) All recording equipment, books, packing and shipping materials are supplied by the USO. The first time you watch your children’s reaction to the DVD is simply priceless. I like to take video of that part alone and send it as a Facebook message to my husband. That way he can see how much that means to his son’s. Ah! The memories are going to make me cry all over again!

I hope you learned something new about the USO. This truly is a wonderful organization full of many wonderful programs. To learn more about the programs you saw here and more. Simply click the link below!

Take me to the United Service Organizations! 

~Amanda

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