Phase IV of the Sesame Street/USO Experience Ends on a High Note

Kids giggled and parents snapped photos of the costumed characters during the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families show at Ft. Knox, KY, on April 18, 2010. (USO photo by Pat McDonogh)

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all of the military families who came out to join us for the Sesame Street/USO Experience this year!  From April to September, from North Carolina to North Dakota, this tour extended its run as the longest-running entertainment tour in USO history.  We couldn’t do it without the support of Sesame Workshop and VEE Corporation, and all of you who attend the performances.  Some fun facts from Phase IV:

  • 43 Bases visited
  • 139 Shows performed
  • 15,700 Miles traveled
  • 552,956 Giveaways received
  • 72,054 Service members and families attended

Altogether – since the beginning of Phase I on July 8, 2008 – the tour has visited 90 bases; performed 315 shows; traveled through 9 countries; logged 61,242 miles; given away 1,455,029 goodies; and entertained 192,650 service members and their families – way to go!

Connecting Military Teens Worldwide

By Vernessa Neu, Founder, The Military Teen Network

The Military Teen Network recently launched, an interactive website specifically designed for military teens.

Many of the approximately 1.4 million active duty members in the U.S. military and an additional 848,000 members of the reserve have teenagers in their household. These teens not only face the pressures of everyday life of adolescence but they face additional stress factors such as deployments, family separation, and new schools. is an excellent way to connect these teens to other teens in the same or similar situations.

The Military Teen Network founder Vernessa Neu, 2nd from left, worked directly with Yokosuka-based teens (l-r) Dusty-Lynn Keolanui, Kennethia Smith, and Meghan Pomeroy to create (Photo courtesy of Vernessa Neu) is an easily accessible resource that provides a variety of opportunities for teens to connect, chat, blog, and share their experiences. Other features on the site include a Military Teen’s Guide to Deployment, moving tips, forums, and duty station ratings from a teen’s perspective.

All teens, including those with parents who are active duty, reserve, and guard members are invited to become a part of the network.  You can follow us on and


Join The Military Teen Network for our first virtual roundtable discussion!
Date: Tue, Sept 14, 2010 – 8:00pm-8:45pm EST
Topics: Fast & Fatty (in honor of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month) and Base Teen Programs
Where: Meet in the chat room at 8pm.
Please join us & help the community learn more about military teens’ needs.  One participant will walk away with a sponsored gift.

Vernessa Neu, is a Navy Veteran, military spouse, mother, and former military teen. She and her family currently reside in Yokosuka, Japan where Vernessa volunteers her time working with youth in the community.  The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Vernessa Neu and do not necessarily reflect those of the USO.