Donate Today – It’s Free: Kroger Allowing Website Visitors to Give Its Money to USO Programs

KrogerSite

Our donors have a lot of great reasons for giving to the USO, but the one they seem to cite most often is that it just feels good to help the troops and their families.

Now, Kroger has a program where you can get that feeling without opening your wallet.

The national grocery chain came up with the creative idea to allow honoringourheroes.com/promotions visitors to allocate a virtual dollar in 25-cent increments to any of four USO programs that help troops and their families around the world. Kroger will then donate a real dollar – up to $100,000 – to the programs each visitor selects.

Those programs are:

  • USO No Dough Dinners: Aimed at enlisted troops and their families, the USO hosts these free dinners at many of its centers around the globe in the run-up to payday to both build community and allow service members to stretch their dollar as far as possible at a time when money is tight.
  • USO/United Through Reading Military Program: The USO partnership with United Through Reading lets troops preparing to deploy – or already overseas – record children’s’ books and send those recordings (along with a copy of the book, in most instances) back to their kids at home. It’s a great way to remind children that mom or dad are still thinking about them from far away.
  • USO/Hire Heroes USA Workshops: Transition to the civilian sector is a huge issue for today’s troops – especially those who were injured in the line of duty. The USO partners with Hire Heroes USA to teach troops from all backgrounds how to write a resumé, prepare for job interviews and even connect with local employers who may be recruiting in the area.
  • Families of the Fallen: When our service members pay the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, the USO is there in the aftermath to support their families. The USO assists with logistics for families traveling to repatriation locations around the country and also provides coping tools and support for spouses and children alike.

So go donate today. It’s free!

Looking Back at the Messages of Thanks at the BET Experience

In case you missed it, the USO was on the scene at The BET Experience in Los Angeles on June 28 and 29. Attendees stopped by the USO Mobile inside The Los Angeles Convention Center to send messages of thanks to America’s troops.

While you can see the full video recap here on USO.org, check our our Instavid above and Flipagram below we produced on the convention center floor as attendees stopped by to share their gratitude.

Help with PTSD Issues are Just One Call (or Click) Away for Troops and Families

The wars in the Middle East have mostly wound down. But many troops don’t leave the battle on the battlefield.

It’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month, and thousands of military families live and care for a loved one still dealing with emotional trauma or traumatic brain injuries stemming from action in Iraq or Afghanistan. If you’re one of those families – or know someone who needs help – here is a list of resources that can help.

And as always, if you or someone you know needs to talk to someone immediately, call the Military Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or contact them online at militarycrisisline.net.

    • USO Caregivers Conferences: Held on or near different military installations around the United States, these USO conferences discuss caregivers’ issues like resiliency, communication, compassion fatigue and how to talk to children after a parent has been injured.

  • PTSD Coach:The Department of Veterans Affairs has a website and app called PTSD Coach that aims to help troops and veterans manage issues like anger, sleep and trauma triggers.
  • USO/Stronger Families Oxygen Seminars: This Bothell, Wash.-based nonprofit helps couples – especially military couples affected by injuries or long separations – open the lines of communication. Their Oxygen Seminars have become a key partner program of USO Warrior and Family Care.
  • Family readiness officers, family support groups and family support centers: While some may be more robust than others, every branch of the military has family support services. These officers and groups are huge information resources. Contact your command to find out what groups are available for your family.
  • Aggregate lists: The Washington Post has an easy-to-navigate rundown of warning signs, benefits and services and how to find help.
  • And if in doubt: Call the Military Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or contact them online at militarycrisisline.net.

Ursus of Afghanistan: USO Kandahar Gets in on the Build-A-Bear Fun

As you can see, the USO Kandahar center in Afghanistan really got into the spirit of our campaign with Build-A-Bear. You can get in on the fun, too, by sharing a message of thanks using the #babwUSOthanks hashtag on your social media platform of choice. When you do, Build-A-Bear Workshop will donate $1 per post up to $50,000 to help the USO support troops and their families across the globe.

Video: Highlights of the USO/Wrangler National Patriot Memorial Day Tour

Wrangler took some of rodeo’s best out on a USO tour last month to visit Coast Guard stations in Alaska. The fifth incarnation of the tour included five-time Pro Cowboy Rodeo Association World Champion Kaycee Feild, Miss Rodeo American/Wrangler National Patriot Maegan Ridley, Jeff Chadwick of Wrangler and Nashville artist Lucas Hoge.

-Video courtesy of American300