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Since its early beginnings in 1941, the United Services Organization (USO) has been helping military members and their families by offering a wide array of support services. From military spouse support services to care packages being sent overseas to our men and women fighting for our country, the USO has an expansive reach and a resounding willingness to help those who protect our country.
Here are some of the services that the USO provides:
USO Centers Offering Services and Programs
There are more than 200 established USO centers around the world. Serving military members in a multitude of countries, including Afghanistan, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Kuwait, and more, the USO provides a wide array of programs and services. Some of the USO offerings include Internet and phone services, video games, movies, and basically a place to relax and find comfort.
Operation Phone Home Program
The Operation Phone Home Program is a well-known service offered by the USO. This service initially began as a phone card program in 2003. As technology improved, the program was altered a bit in 2009 to add Internet connection and a private phone network. At centers located in combat zones, military members can make free phone calls home and enjoy free Internet connection to catch up with loved ones. Free prepaid international calling cards are still made available to those who are in remote areas not close to a USO center.
Military Spouse Services
Military spouses are also cared for by the USO. It's difficult when your loved ones are deployed and the USO ensures that their helpful services extend to the spouses to meet their needs. Two of the military spouse services offered by the USO include military spouse networking events and USO coffee connections, the latter of which is even available in an online format and for those who are overseas.
Care Package Program
Military members who are deployed overseas will usually find themselves missing home at some point. The USO Care Package Program helps to bring home to them. The USO sends care packages to deployed military members to provide comfort and a taste of home. From a snack pack to a toiletry pack, the care packages are both needed and wanted. There are even care packages sent out during the holidays to bring a little holiday cheer to those who are away.
The USO Pathfinder® program helps military members transition to civilian life by helping them to find employment, housing, financial stability, and more. This program also helps military spouses with the transition as well. Transitioning from military life to civilian life is a big step and the USO aids individuals during this process.
Entertainment for the Troops
When troops are deployed, the USO ensures that they are taken care of in many different ways. In addition to the services and programs mentioned above, the USO also arranges for entertainment for the troops. One such entertainment tour took place this past summer when celebrities and entertainers headed to multiple bases overseas. Some of the entertainers included "Big Bang Theory" star Mayim Bialik, comedian Anjelah Johnson, and singer Cassadee Pope.
These are just a few of the ways the patriotic USO is lending a hand to our military members and their families.