USO of New England and the Boston Celtics Put Families in Touch…on the Jumbotron!

Recently, USO of New England and the Boston Celtics made dreams come through with their “Seats for Soldiers” program, giving away free tickets to over 500 service members and their families.  Even more amazing, these families were virtually connected to local soldiers live on the Jumbotron from USO Baghdad!

Executive Director Jean M. Mallon shared some thoughts on the event, giving “A big kudos and thank you from USO New England and all of the service members and families of the 101engineers who participated in the live video “shout out” at the Seats for Soldiers Celtics game on Friday evening.

We invited the families of the members to the game, and in addition to seeing their loved ones hailed by the crowd we were able to bring them to the AV room, so they could have a few moments to say hello in private. It was a great morale boost for all.”

Jack Swayze, the IT Administrator for the USO, was called in to coordinate the technical aspects so the families could connect.  “This was an amazing event,” explained Swayze.  “Not only were we able to bring happiness to the troops and their families, but I was able to use some fun technology to achieve the goal. I’m not a big Basketball fan, but I did watch the entire game with the guys, so I could watch them enjoy themselves and see their excitement when  they talked to their families and loved ones. It was one of the best video streaming events I have been apart of.”

We are so proud of our staff, volunteers, Boston Celtics fans, and everyone who brought this event together.  But most importantly, we’re proud of our Troops serving here and abroad; we’re honored to provide that touch of home for them.  Check out the photos below!

Troops at USO Baghdad share some smiles and laughter as they realize their families are viewing them on the Jumbotron during the Celtics "Seats for Soldiers" event.

It's a family reunion of sorts in the AV room at the Garden as a Mom and her Daughter say hi to Dad, serving overseas and on screen courtesy of the USO.

Service members were also honored at the game. Several of them took the opportunity to pose with the Celtics Dancers on the court at half time.

Celtics Fans: Donate YOUR Tickets to the Troops!

Boston Celtics Fans Give Troops Slam Dunk Treatment in Third Annual Seats for Soldiers

The Boston Celtics will again treat troops and their families to a slam dunk event on Friday, March 12 against the Indiana Pacers as part of the third annual Seats for Soldiers program, presented by OmniPresence. Through Seats for Soldiers, Celtics fans donate their tickets to the game and allow members of the U.S. armed forces and their families to attend in their seat.

Last season, more than 500 tickets were donated to Seats for Soldiers and this year the program is expanding so fans anywhere can donate tickets for the U.S. armed forces. Fans interested in donating tickets can call 617-854-8013 or email seatsforsoldiers@celtics.com.  Additionally, Boston Celtics season ticket holders will be able to donate their tickets by logging onto their account at www.celtics.com. All donated tickets are given to the USO for distribution among the military branches.

“Seats for Soldiers has been a tremendously successful program in honoring the men and women of all our armed forces,” Boston Celtics Team President Rich Gotham said. “Our fans have shown amazing generosity the last few years in donating their tickets to these courageous individuals who defend our country. We look forward to working with our partner, OmniPresence, to provide the soldiers in attendance with a fun and special night.”

“The Seats for Soldiers program is an excellent opportunity for us to continue the USO tradition of providing first-class entertainment to our troops and their families,” said Jean Mallon, Executive Director, USO New England.  “The Boston Celtic fans are among the most patriotic, and I am proud of how they demonstrate their support for our troops.  Go Celtics!”

The Seats for Soldiers donations are product of a unique collaborative effort among the USO, Boston Celtics, Celtics season ticket holders and fans that purchased tickets for the March 12 home game. All of the seats donated were voluntarily contributed to allow members of the armed services and their families to attend the game in their place.  Thank you!