This holiday celebrates the United Service Organizations, a program founded on February 4, 1941. It is a program that boosts the morale and brings a little bit of home to US service men and women by providing entertainment and other services to members of the United States Armed Forces and their families stationed all over the world. This is a great way for entertainers and the American public to thank service men and women for their sacrifices. You can celebrate by donating some money to USO or volunteering your time to help out!
What is USO Day?
The date marks the anniversary of the formation of the USO in 1941. At that time, the President of the Board of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) enlisted the resources of five other national service associations to create the USO for the purpose of providing moral support and recreation resources to enlisted men. This effort was supported by President Roosevelt's administration. USO Day was established by Proclamation 4029, signed by President Richard Nixon, just two days before the thirtieth anniversary of the USO.
What can you do on USO day?
Make a donation. Give an individual gift or make a donation in memory of a loved one. Your donation can be a one time or recurring gift. Federal employees have extra incentives for donating to USO.
Send a care package or choose from the USO wishbook. Phone calls and internet usage can also be purchased to help soldiers stay connected with loved ones.
Sign up to volunteer at a USO center near you. If you are looking to give over time, volunteering is a viable option.
What is the USO?
The United Service Organization is a private, not-for-profit organization with a corporate structure that includes chief executives, a governing body, and paid staff. The USO is comprised of 30,000 volunteers and more than 200 USO centers worldwide in the US, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific.
Mission and purpose.
From the USO's official website, "The USO strengthens America's military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, through their service to the nation." Military deployment affects enlisted men and women as well as their families. The USO provides support during different phases of enlistment in various ways.
At enlistment, USO volunteers greet newly enlisted men and women and talk to them about how USO can help them throughout their time in the military. Volunteers inform family members of what to expect during enlistment and deployment. Also, how and where to access resources for military families.
When stationed away from home or deployed during a time of conflict, USO centers offer phone lines and Wifi connections, allowing soldiers to keep in touch with family. Other comforts coordinated by USO are video games, movies, and card packages.
Since its creation the USO has coordinated celebrity appearances by musicians, comedians, actors, and actresses. Noteworthy names include comedian Bob Hope, actress Marilyn Monroe, musician Sammy Davis Jr., and country music stars Loretta Lynn and Carrie Underwood. Meet and greets and musical entertainment are a morale booster for the service members.
When transitioning out of the military, volunteers and staff work with the soldier to assist with transitioning out of the military and back to civilian life. For the families of those who make the ultimate sacrifice, USO members remain supportive of the family through every step of the final trip home.
Visit the USO's website to learn more about the work done by the USO and how you can give through the USO to support enlisted men and women.