Updated on Wednesday:
For over 67 years, the USO (United Service
Organizations, Inc.) has served as the primary bridge between the
American people and America’s Armed Forces, delivering a unique
combination of morale building, counseling, and recreational services to
our troops and their families all over the world.
Chronicle readers are probably aware of the long-time
role the USO has played in the lives of servicemen. Maybe you are, like
I was, ignorant of the strong feelings that servicemen and families have
about the organization. I have talked to several veterans and family
members, who say that wherever the Armed Forces are, the USO is there.
The following information was taken from the USO website:
USO is chartered by Congress as a nonprofit, charitable
corporation. It is not part of the U.S. government. It is funded almost
entirely by donations from individuals, organizations, and corporations.
A full 89¢ out of every $1 donated to USO is spent on the delivery of
programs and services to troops.
USO is perhaps best known for its celebrity
entertainment tours that transport the brightest stars of movies, music,
and sports across the globe to perform for men and women in uniform.
Beyond this, USO provides a remarkable array of vital services.
Whether it is helping a young soldier find her way in a
foreign airport, counseling a child whose parents are both overseas, or
providing a place of refuge and a chance to call home for troops in
Iraq, Afghanistan, or Korea, USO delivers a touch of home to military
personnel and their families at a time when it is most needed and most
In addition to handing out pre-paid phone cards, USO
supplies departing troops with care packages of sunscreen, toiletries,
and snacks that simply are not available where they are going. USO
volunteers meet arriving flights across the country every day to make
sure that returning GIs are welcomed home as heroes.
USO family and community centers help military families
adjust to new surroundings and support families separated by
deployments. USO mobile canteens, equipped with refreshments,
televisions, and mini-stages for live performances, can go anywhere in
the world to meet the needs of forces in the field. USO airport centers
assist military personnel and their families in transit, offering
translation services, libraries and reading rooms, TV and game rooms,
housing and accommodation assistance, nursery facilities, and local
information. In some centers, GIs can take a shower or a nap.
More than 135 USO facilities are maintained world wide.
This includes 10 mobile canteens in the U.S. and Germany, Italy, United
Arab Emirates, Japan, Qatar, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Guam and Kuwait.
Service members and their families visit USO centers more than 6.9
million times each year. The USO is the way the American public supports
Donations can be made by calling toll free,
800-876-7469, or visiting www.uso.org/donate.
This Week's Editorial:By Helen Morris:
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