Are You a Rugged Maniac? Join Team USO

How far are you willing to go to support our troops? Would you leap over burning coals? Low-crawl through the mud under barbed wire? Traverse cargo netting, hop through a series of tires and navigate a balance beam over a pit?

If you want an opportunity to challenge your endurance and reach physical goals you never thought possible in support of troops and their families, then you should join Team USO this year for a Rugged Maniac 5K Obstacle Race.

“We’re very excited about the good things we can accomplish together,” Rugged Races CEO Bradford Scudder said. “The USO’s mission aligns with that of Rugged Maniac by recognizing and supporting our troops and their families.”

Rugged Maniac – which has announced 22 events in 2013 and expects more than 200,000 participants – hopes to raise $1 million in support of the USO.

“It’s a realistic goal,” Scudder said. “If each of our participants donates $5, we’ll get there. And this is a wonderful cause, so of course there will be individuals who’ll go above and beyond that $5 donation.”

From boot camp to battlefield back home again, the USO is the only organization that always stands by the side of troops and their families. Team USO members are crucial to supporting that cause.

–Video and Story by Joseph Andrew Lee, USO Staff Writer

N.C.-Based Women’s Club Hosts First USO Barbecue for the Troops

Army Maj. Gen. (Ret.) James Mallory poses with former Statesville (N.C.) Woman's Club President Ellenora Barker - who served in the WAVES during World War II -- at the club's USO Barbecue for the Troops event May 16. Photo courtesy of the Statesville (N.C.) Woman's Club

Army Maj. Gen. (Ret.) James Mallory poses with former Statesville (N.C.) Woman’s Club President Ellenora Barker at the club’s USO Barbecue for the Troops event May 16. Photo courtesy of the Statesville (N.C.) Woman’s Club

They’re already firing up their grills in North Carolina for the USO’s Barbecue for the Troops campaign.

Statesville, N.C., was the site of the first official USO Barbecue for the Troops on May 16. The Statesville Woman’s Club raised $850 with their May 16 barbecue luncheon, which featured guest speaker Army Maj. Gen. (Ret) James Mallory.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to help out a great cause, show off our club’s patriotic spirit, and be a leader for our [General Federation of Women’s Clubs],” club president Fran Baker wrote in an email to the USO.

Click here to find out more about the USO’s Barbeque for the Troops campaign, including how to host your own event.

–Story by USO Story Development

Photos: USO and Partners Help Make Cancer-Stricken Marine’s Wish a Reality

The USO – with huge assists from American Airlines and Joining Forces – helped make a terminally ill Marine’s wish come true this week, facilitating Lance Cpl. Christopher Fillion’s trip to the White House to meet President Barack Obama.

Here’s a look at the journey in photos (and here’s a story on how the trip came together):

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