The USO (United Service Organizations) has been serving our military service members and their families for 75 years. We’ve heard of the famous USO tours in WWII and Vietnam featuring the top celebrities of the day. We’ve visited first hand or have at least heard of USO centers in a few airports and cool amenities they offer. But there is MUCH MUCH MORE to the USO than airports and wartime entertainment. We contacted the USO headquarters in Washington DC to get the skinny on the many ways they support us and the ones we love.
1. The USO is a non-profit. Some people think the USO is part of the government, but they are not. They are supported by generous donations and volunteers.
2. The USO has a ridiculously long history of giving. The USO traces back to six different organizations: Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board all pooled resources to help start the USO at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
3. The USO likes to glam it up a bit. USO Metropolitan New York helped military teenage girls have the chance to enjoy a free shopping spree to find a special prom gown. It’s all through the program “Operation: That’s My Dress,” which was created by the USO and made possible with the generosity of international stylist and designer Sherri Hill. As part of the program Miss Teen USA pageant winners help the teens pick out dresses, while hair and makeup pros teach styling tricks for their big night.
4. The USO loves new babies! The USO launched Special Delivery, in 2013 to support expectant military mothers. Hosted by popular What to Expect series author, Heidi Murkoff, the event features traditional baby shower fun including food, games and gifts for military moms-to-be as well as a question and answer session with Murkoff. In December, approximately 200 military moms and dads to be participated in this event at Fort Campbell, KY and in May 150 military moms participated in Fort Hood, TX.
5. Speaking of babies, the USO helps fathers find the labor and delivery room. Unfortunately, some of our troops can’t be home for the births of their children. Through the USO’s investment in technology, they arrange Skype connections at bases around the world to bring deployed fathers into the delivery room. The USO offers troops a reliable connection and a private area to connect with their loved ones back home in order to share that special moment.