By Danielle DeSimone
For troops stationed and deployed overseas, Super Bowl Sunday can be a stark reminder of how far they are from home, loved ones and the great American game of football.
That’s why, this Sunday, thousands of service members and their families will gather at a local USO – their home away from home – to watch Super Bowl LIV at special viewing events. It’s thanks to generous donors like you that the USO is able to provide these much-needed opportunities to help service members stay connected to home, no matter where their service takes them.
While each USO location will be celebrating game day a little differently, here’s how four USO centers from around the globe will be celebrating the Super Bowl this year:
In the Pacific: USO Camp Humphreys, South Korea
The presence of U.S. troops in South Korea is crucial to maintaining balance and mutual defense in the region, but the stress of the post can take its toll – especially when so far from home. That’s why activities such as the USO Camp Humphreys Super Bowl Watch Party – even if they are cheering along with breakfast and coffee – are so important for our service members.
At USO Camp Humphreys in South Korea, service members will be waking up bright and early to watch the kick-off at 8:30 a.m. Because of the time difference, it will already be Monday in South Korea and for these service members, technically “game day” will already be over.
However, USO Camp Humphreys is committed to giving our troops a great Super Bowl experience, so they’ll kick off the morning with a Super Bowl watch party, which includes a live-stream of the game, free food and prizes.
In the United States: Fort Wainwright, Alaska
While the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs will be basking in tomorrow’s 70-degrees-and-sunny Miami weather, troops stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, will be battling temperatures closer to -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remote locations such as Fort Wainwright can be especially challenging for service members during the winter, when they must deal with extreme, cold temperatures, less than four hours of daylight throughout the season and isolation from loved ones.
That’s why USO Alaska’s Super Bowl LIV watch party will be a welcome addition to this weekend’s activities. USO Fort Wainwright makes a huge difference in the daily lives of service members and their families who are stationed there, serving as the heart of the military community.
In Europe: USO Warrior Center at Landstuhl, Germany
For service members in Landstuhl, Germany, a Super Bowl tailgate party is more than just a connection to home – it’s a brief moment to relax and take their minds off of why they’re there.
That’s exactly why the USO Warrior Center at Landstuhl exists: to support injured, ill and wounded service members recuperating at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center with not only the regular services of a USO location, but also comfort to ease their recovery. Service members of all branches of the military come through the doors of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. Some arrive because of illness while others come because of a small injury or a more serious wound they’ve obtained while serving downrange.
But regardless of how they arrived, the USO is ready to support them by any means necessary. On Super Bowl Sunday, that means providing a watch party with a live-stream of the big game, a live band and DJ, plenty of food and a reminder that even far from the battlefield and from home, they are not forgotten.
In the Middle East: USO Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
When people say, “support the troops,” these are the service members they are usually thinking of. In the wake of recent events, there have been rising tensions in the Middle East, which has led to the deployment of several thousand more troops to the region. Many have arrived in Kuwait.
That means that many service members who had planned on celebrating the Super Bowl with their friends are family have suddenly found themselves on the front lines with little contact with folks back home.
That’s where the USO comes in. At 2:30 a.m., USO Camp Arifjan will open its doors to service members and host a Super Bowl LIV watch party, where attendees can enjoy food, raffles and the game. Thanks to the USO’s partnership with the NFL, and the NFL Game Pass provided to our USO centers, military deployed to Kuwait – as well as other service members stationed around the world – will be able to watch the Super Bowl and the beloved commercials that make breaks between plays so entertaining.
More from the USO
Apr 3, 2020
5 Ways Your Donor Dollars Are at Work Supporting the Military During the COVID-19 Pandemic
While the United States adjusts to quarantines and drastic changes in daily life, American service members are leaving their families to serve on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Find out how your donations to the USO are supporting military families during COVID-19.
Apr 2, 2020
A Military Spouse’s Guide to Staying Resilient During the COVID-19 Pandemic
It's been a few weeks since COVID-19 forced one military spouse and her family to hunker down at home. See how she is tapping into lessons she's learned as a 17-year military spouse to help guide her through this time of uncertainly.