It’s Flag Day…and the Army’s 235th Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Army!  Celebrations around the world are commemorating the 235th year of the US Army and we here at the USO are proud to be a part of that tradition.  The Army has set up a special website and they’ve created a place where you can submit a video with your birthday wishes!  And if you’re on Twitter, be sure to join in the celebration: @USArmy will be hosting an #ArmyBirthday Twitter Party on Mon, June 14 from 1-2:30 EST. Send your birthday wishes & Shout-outs to the Army via Twitter

Today is also Flag Day, the day when we commemorate the official adoption of the “Stars and Stripes” in 1777 by the Second Continental Congress.  The National Flag Day Foundation has information on the history and observance of this holiday and the American Legion’s Flag Advocacy site has a wealth information on the Flag Code and more.  We hope you’ll join us in saluting the American Flag today – and every day – and remember all that it stands for!

Audience members proudly display the Stars and Striped during a Toby Keith USO Tour at Camp Victory in 2007. (USO Photo by Dave Gatley)

USO Sponsors 1st Bodybuilding Competition in Basra

The USO at Basra is open for business 20 hours/7 days each week from 1000 until 0600 and features a wide array of USO amenities, including flat-screen TVs, phones, computers, and gaming equipment.

The last month and a half has been more mentally and physically demanding than the entire rest of the deployment for a group of men and women here on COB Basra. In contending in the first bodybuilding competition on base, the group followed a strict diet and training regimen to get in top physical shape in time for the show.

The driving force behind the event was Sgt. Mark Kring of the 206th Military Police Company. As the 2002 Mr. New York State Bodybuilding Champion, he knows the ins and outs of preparing for a competition. However, in a standard event, you aren’t faced with the additional daily requirements of being a soldier in a war zone. What was already an intense undertaking truly pushed these men and women to the outer limits of what they thought they were capable of, learning a lot about what they can really achieve with hard work and dedication in the process.

The USO co-sponsored the event, which also included many generous donations from the professional weight lifting field, and with a turn-out rivaling that of our biggest USO shows, it was a huge success.

Check out the following video for a behind the scenes look at the event!

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