Clear Channel Radio Partners with the USO

Clear Channel Radio has announced a multi-platform campaign for the USO as part of the Company’s Q4 2010 National Community Engagement campaign. Leveraging its radio and digital platforms, Clear Channel Radio will drive awareness for the critical support the USO provides for members of the U.S. military and their families.

“Whether it’s operating in more than 160 USO locations around the world or the hundreds of thousands of care packages sent every year or the vital support they provide for our wounded warriors, the USO symbolizes what it means to ‘Support our Troops,’” said Clay Hunnicutt, Senior Vice President of Programming at Clear Channel Radio. “Our platforms reach millions of Americans and with the enthusiastic backing of our thousands of employees, Clear Channel Radio is dedicated and committed to doing everything we can to promote the great work that the USO is doing for our country’s heroes.”

We’ve created an exclusive USO iheartradio Digital Channel featuring videos, interviews, photos, Facebook and twitter updates of USO programs, soldiers and their families. The channel also includes a section where supporters can directly contribute by making donations to the USO, sending thank you letters and joining “Team USO.”  The USO channel is also available on the iheartradio application on the iPhone, iPhone Touch, Blackberry, and Android devices!

Also part of the campaign are a series of public service announcements (PSAs) developed by Clear Channel, which are being broadcast on more than 850 stations in 150 markets across the nation. From October 1st to December 10th, Clear Channel Radio will run more than 200,000 PSAs, which will include a combination of live read scripts and pre-recorded announcements, to encourage individuals and communities to get involved with the USO by supporting the various programs and services they offer, including the USO’s Wounded Warrior programs, overall fundraising initiatives, care packages and Operation Phone Home efforts, among others.

Sesame Street Puppeteers Take ‘Elmo’ and ‘Rosita’ to Germany on a USO Adventure

Celebrated puppeteers Kevin Clash (Elmo) and Carmen Osbahr (Rosita) bring their Sesame Street characters to life during a performance at Ramstein Elementary School in Germany October 14, 2010, as part of a USO educational tour. In a show of appreciation, €˜Elmo€™ and €˜Rosita€™ sang, danced, and interacted with military kids throughout their performance. (USO photo by Jackie Zettles)

“I am so proud to be a part of Sesame Workshop’s Talk, Listen, Connect Initiative and to have the opportunity to go on a USO tour to Germany and uplift the spirits of today’s military schoolchildren.  They, unlike most of today’s youth, often face an array of changes on a routine basis and it is nice to know they aren’t being ignored or forgotten.” – Kevin Clash, the puppeteer behind Elmo

Elmo and Rosita and the celebrated puppeteers who bring them to life, Baltimore native Kevin Clash and Mexico City native Carmen Osbahr, lifted the spirits of nearly 1,000 troops and military schoolchildren stationed at four military school in Germany!  It’s the first tour for both Clash and Osbahr, whose performances are an extension of the USO/Sesame Street Experience for Military Families in collaboration with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, and the USO.

As part of the ten performances they put on, Elmo and Rosita sang songs and interacted with military school kids.  They also danced and expressed their thanks to schoolchildren, in addition to helping the young children in the audience – most ages 2 to 8 –  cope with challenging transitions in their lives, such as deployments and when a parent comes home with a combat-related injury.

It was a fantastic, family friendly tour that won’t soon be forgotten. Check out more pictures below!

A student at Ramstein Elementary School in Germany hugs Sesame Streetâ€'s Rosita€ after a USO-sponsored performance October 14, 2010. Osbahr, who performs €Rosita,€™ began her relationship with Sesame Street as a teenager in 1985. Part of Sesame Workshop'€™s Talk Listen Connect program for military families, her other credits include Kiki€™ in The Puzzle Place, a role in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland and as Lily€™ in Johnny and The Sprites for the Disney Channel. (USO photo by Jackie Zettles)

Celebrated puppeteers Kevin Clash (Elmo) and Carmen Osbahr (Rosita) bring their Sesame Street characters to life during a performance at Ramstein Elementary School in Germany October 14, 2010. (USO photo by Jackie Zettles)

Sesame Street's €˜Rosita€™ (right) and Elmo pose for a photo after a performance at Vogelweh Elementary School in Germany October 13, 2010, as part of a USO educational tour. (USO photo by Jackie Zettles)

Kevin Clash head out into the crowd to let the children get up and close and personal with on of their favorite Sesame Street characters - Elmo, of course! - during a performance at Kaiserslautern Elementary School in Germany October 13, 2010, as part of a USO educational tour. (USO photo by Jackie Zettles)

Bills Khakis 20th Anniversary Celebrates American Heritage, Our Military and the USO

Bills Khakis 20th Anniversary Cramerton Khaki will retail for $195 and will include a commemorative canvas bucket bag.

Bills Khakis is introducing Limited Edition 20th Anniversary Khakis this October. The Khakis are cut from the original WWII cloth known as Cramerton Twill, and as with all Bills Khakis products, the pant will be made in America with distinctive features and detailing.

In conjunction with the introduction and sale of this product, Bills Khakis will donate a portion of the proceeds to the USO.  Today we share a special message from Bill Thomas, Founder/CEO of Bills Khakis…

The history of Bills Khakis can be traced back over 20 years to a visit I made to a remote Army Surplus store some 15 miles west of my college campus in central Ohio. There I discovered a pair of original WWII khakis which not only turned out to be the best pair of khakis I had ever found, they also represented a forgotten piece of Americana that was worth preserving and celebrating.

Today, this effort is shared among 20 employees at our headquarters in Reading, Pennsylvania, as well as hundreds of sewers, craftsmen and retailers across the United States. Through the simple act of producing Bills Khakis, the brand remains a touchstone of American values for our stakeholders as well as tens of thousands of customers throughout the United States and around the world.

And while we take great pride in what the Bills Khakis brand represents, our efforts pale in comparison to the vital support and services provided by the USO to our military and their families. We are sincerely humbled by our ability to contribute to the USO in a very small way as we embark on our third decade in business.

So we see the choice to celebrate our 20th Anniversary with the USO as both natural, and an obligation, bringing us full circle, back to our roots, serving as a profound reminder of why we are in business today.

At the heart of America’s economic engine is manufacturing. At the heart of America’s cause for freedom is our military. We thank all those who have chosen to participate in the preservation and furthering of these two fundamental American values.

Ride 2 Recovery Debuts Custom-Built Bike, aka “Project Z”

A special message from John Wordin, President and Founder, Ride 2 Recovery:

It is with great pride that we announce our latest specially adapted bike for a very special wounded warrior. Project Z was undertaken with a grant from the USO to create a one-of-a-kind adapted bike for a victim of the Ft. Hood Massacre, Staff Sergeant Patrick Zeigler.

A first look at this one-of-a-kind recumbent bike, specially designed for SSgt. Ziegler. (Photo courtesy of Ride 2 Recovery Facebook page)

SSgt. Ziegler was shot four times. He was shot in the right side of the head, in the left shoulder, left forearm, and left side of my hip. Zeigler was the last remaining victim from the Fort Hood shootings to get out of the hospital just a month ago. He recently relocated back to Ft. Hood after being at the Mayo Clinic for most of 2010.

His recovery will take months, if not years. Part of his skull is still missing, and two bullets remain lodged in his body. Much of his muscle mass has withered away. Walking is still a challenge and for a former runner, the lack of activity has been hard to deal with. But his spirit, determination, and sense of humor are still intact.

At the behest of Jill Cone, wife of Ft. Hood CG Gen. Robert Cone, Patrick and his future wife Jessica, got in touch with Ride 2 Recovery and soon became fast friends with several of the wounded warriors. Patrick wondered out loud if it was possible for him to join in a future R2R ride.

SSgt. Ziegler gives a thumbs up to "Project Z." He plans plans to participate in the 2011 R2R Texas Challenge. (Photo courtesy of Ride 2 Recovery Facebook page)

First, a bike had to be designed and built for his condition. This has become a specialty of R2R.. How to take normal everyday bike parts and adapt them to suit a specific injury.

The Project Z is the result… The only long cage electronic rear deraileur known in the world so he could use a triple chainring and still have Shimano Di2 shifting. All brake and hand controls on the right side due to his left arm issues, and a trike (due to the severity of his brain injury) with a 700c rear wheel for high performance and fun.

You can join Patrick as he debuts Project Z on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Ft. Hood with a special event commemorating the 1 year anniversary of the shooting.  “Rock the Hood” takes place at 8 am. the 13 mile Run to Remember is open to everyone… Come out and support Ft. Hood….

Sign Your Name on Our Banner in Support of Wounded Warriors!

We recently introduced you to Give Back 10, an initiative that asks you to Take 10, Tell 10, and Give 10 as we create a community of support around America’s wounded warriors.  And you’ve responded to that call by learning more about the needs of wounded warriors, engaging your friends in a dialogue, and donating to this effort.

We also want to invite you to show your support for our wounded warriors by signing a banner of support before October 31st.

We’ll be sending this banner to a very special hospital in Afghanistan in time for Veterans Day.  It’s a place where our brave men and women come straight from the frontlines with battle related injuries.  Please sign your name to our banner, and let our wounded warriors know that YOU have their back. As they’re recovering from their injuries, they’ll see YOUR name and know that someone back home supports them.

“Military Wives (And Moms) Are Heroes, Too”

 

Military wife and mom Kelly Walker gets ready for the gala. (Photo by Kelly Wallace)

 

There was a special pre-party event that occurred before the 2010 USO Gala this year: P&G (our newest Worldwide Strategic Partner) set up a beauty suite for the wives of the Service Member Honorees of the Year!

iVillage’s Kelly Wallace was there to capture the moment, and spent time with Kelly Walker, the wife of Sgt. Eric Walker, the USO’s Marine of the Year.  “I very much enjoyed it,” Walker, a mother or two, told Wallace after her beauty sessions. “I don’t get pampering, I guess, very much, so it was quite enjoyable to have someone do my hair and my makeup.”

But, as Wallace points out, none of these women do what they do for attention or awards.  Walker concluded, “I’m just very proud of (my husband) and what he does, and so I’m honored for what I get to do for him.”

We’re proud of all of these military wives and moms (and their Service Member Honoree spouses!) and hope you’ll take a minute to watch the video below, then say “Thank You” to the military wife or mom in your life…