Bringing USO Goodness to Camp Leatherneck

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - Sergeant Mark Matice, a utilities NCO with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, and Lance Cpl. Rory MacEachern (right), a military policeman with Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), perform a bagpipe rendition of 'Amazing Grace' prior to Toby Keith taking the stage here May 5. (Photo by Sgt. Justin Shemanski)

At the hot, dusty base in Afghanistan known as Camp Leatherneck, there wasn’t much to do during Troop’s downtime.  The surrounding Helmand Province is inhospitable territory, and the 60,000 Marines and Soldiers stationed there needed a break from the intensity of their work.  Enter the USO.

We identified the needs for Camp Leatherneck and quickly went into action providing the comforts of home and much needed programs and entertainment.  Although it’s not an official USO Center, we’re providing USO support and goodness at this established Army facility in the form of comfortable furniture, games, TVs, and more.   Plus, Toby Keith even visited on his last USO tour in the Persian Gulf!

To kick off the introduction of the USO’s presence at the camp, we sponsored a run with t-shirts for all participants (shown at right).  Then we threw a huge BBQ for Marines and Soldiers, followed by a ceremony for the official building dedication.  We capped the day’s events with a unique talent show showcasing the diverse skills of the Troops: one act featured a mime, another a bagpipe player.  There were also two comedians, break dancers, an actress, musicians from a Marine Corps Band, and many talented singers.  What a group!

New USO programs and services are now being offered in an existing Army facility at Camp Leatherneck. (USO photo by LTC Tom Rivard)

We’re thrilled to be able to support the men and women stationed at Camp Leatherneck in this innovative way and will continue to look for new ways to bring the USO goodness to COB’s and FOB’s, as well as other locations around the world not currently served by a full-scale USO Center.  We’d like to thank the Army for establishing and managing the facility, and thank all of the Troops who are stationed there.

Earlier this year, National Geographic featured Camp Leatherneck for its “Explorer” television series.  The snippet below offers a brief glimpse into what life is like there.  Hopefully, we’ll continue to make it a little better…

10 thoughts on “Bringing USO Goodness to Camp Leatherneck

  1. Im very proud of you all. I know how hard it is to be away from your families. But dont forget we miss ya’ll a lot too. And in your our hearts

  2. I am a Marine currently deployed to Camp Leatherneck. I was able to attend the Toby Keith Concert and i just wanted to say THANK YOU. The concert was awesome he put on a great show. Everybody I talked to had a blast! It was nice to just get away from everything for a few and enjoy ourselves. So again I just wanted to say thank you and let you know that we appreciate all that you do. The Marines Salute you!

    Semper Fi

    • I have a pen pal who says himself as an E6 sergeant in Camp leatherneck. He say in the camp SKYPE Video is prohibited to use. Is it true? If I want to send him a gift as a surprise, could you tell me the postal box or postal address of your camp and what kind of gift is allowed and safe for camp to receive?Thank you so much!
      Had a good day!

  3. THANK YOU USO ! ! ! Just got our first call from son who just arrived in country and it was such a blessing. Thanks for making this possible.

  4. Thank you USO Camp Leatherneck!!!!!! My son just got there yesterday and made his first call home to me just now! We love you. Thanks is just not enough.

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