Care Package Stuffing Party at Beyond the Welcome Home Summit in LA

Thanks to everyone who participate in this successful stuffing party. (Photo by Shauna Bain Smith)

The Beyond the Welcome Home Summit – held in Los Angeles earlier this week – brought together a select group of talented and entrepreneurial participants from campuses and communities across the country.  Sponsored by Mobilize.org, ServiceNation: Mission Serve, MTV, the McCormick Foundation, and the Goldhirsh Foundation, the Summit included a service component – a USO Care Package stuffing party!

Summit participants and celebrities alike pitched in to create 7500 Care Packages to be distributed to Troops when they leave for deployment.  David Arquette, Antwone Fisher, Olivia Munn, Geoff Stults, and Mathew St. Patrick all create video messages for the Troops.  Arquette’s is below and you can see the rest by clicking on their names.  Keep scrolling for pictures, too!

Director of the USO Warehouse Ron Wise keeps an eye on the proceedings. Great job with the Care Package program! (Photo by Shauna Bain Smith)

A volunteer puts the finishing seal on a complete Care Package. (Photo by Shauna Bain Smith)

Seventy-five hundred care packages just like this one will be handed out to Troops. (Photo by Shauna Bain Smith)

Check Out the Latest from The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Spring Tour!

Three-time Emmy winner and former "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini poses for a photo with a soldier stationed in the Persian Gulf on March 30, 2010. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Admiral Mike Mullen and special guests continue to visit with Troops.  Here’s what they have to say:

Admiral Mike Mullen: I am delighted to once again be traveling with the USO and a great group of entertainers and celebrities who only want to give back to the troops. It means a lot to me that they would take time out of their busy schedules to do this, but it means a great deal more to the men and women down range and in harm’s way. It’s going to be a great trip.

James Gandolfini: Our troops are some of the brightest and bravest men and women I’ve ever met. Sadly, they don’t always get the appreciation and recognition they deserve. The USO allows me the privilege to meet them in person, show them my gratitude and thank them for their service.

Rose McGowan: Having the opportunity to travel on a USO tour with Admiral Mullen and visit our nation’s troops was the opportunity of a lifetime. My eyes were opened like never before and I walked away with a greater sense of pride, respect and honor. I know countless others have said it before, but I am forever changed.

Jon Stinchcomb: So many of my fellow teammates and friends have gone out on entertainment tours and told me about how great their experience was visiting and uplifting troops. Now, I can finally relate to them and tell others how important it is to work with the USO and support our troops. War or no war, our soldiers are remarkable and need our support.

Tony Sirico: I went into my second USO tour thinking it was going to be the same or similar to my first visit back in ’04. But it was different. I could see the progress and just how far we’ve come. I am proud of each and every one of our men and women in uniform who stepped up to the plate. It’s a spiritual thing to me. We play touch guys on TV but me and Jimmy agree, you don’t know tough until you see our troops over there.

Now check out the pictures!

New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb visits with soldiers at Kabul Airfield in Afghanistan on March 31, 2010, during a seven-day USO tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. This is the NFL player's first USO tour. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Actress Rose McGowan gives a thumbs-up after looking into the cockpit of a A-10 Warthog during a USO tour stop on an airforce flightline on March 30, 2010. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Troops wait in line to get autographs and photos with some of their favorite stars, (R-L starting in lower right) actors Tony Sirico and James Gandolfini, along with New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb and actress Rose McGowan on March 30, 2010. This trip is the first USO tour for McGowan and Stinchcomb, and the second for Gandolfini and Sirico, who traveled to Kuwait and Iraq in 2004 and brightened the day of more than 1,700 U.S. troops. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Actor Tony Sirico signs autographs and greets troops during a USO meet-and-greet on March 30, 2010. This is Sirico's second USO tour. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)

Actress Rose McGowan poses for a photo with SGT Frankie Keffakes during a USO meet-and-greet on March 29, 2010. McGowan is in the region as part of a seven-day overseas USO tour led by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. (USO photo by Fred Greaves)