Bringing the Big Game to the Troops: USO Centers Around the World Prep for Super Bowl XLIX Festivities

1779696_831008323606850_488918148582461606_nAs America sits down to watch the Seattle Seahawks take on the New England Patriots this Sunday, troops at home and overseas will head to their local USO centers to catch the big game.

Here’s a roundup of some of the Super Bowl festivities at USO centers around the world.

Southwest Asia

USO Kandahar, Afghanistan
Super Bowl festivities will start bright and early at USO Kandahar, where the party begins at 2:30 a.m. local time.

The base will provide roughly 300 pizzas to be split between the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) center and the USO, where the game will be playing all morning long. During halftime, troops can win a number of prizes, including a new bike and an iPad Mini, as well as participate in Super Bowl trivia.

Check out some of the photos from last year’s festivities:

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USO Camp Buerhring, Kuwait
Troops stationed at Camp Buehring can get into the Super Bowl spirit with a pregame tailgate party beginning at 6 p.m. local time.

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In addition to a hot wing eating contest, service members can participate in video game competition, listen to music and win a number of prizes before tuning into the game. At kickoff, partygoers can fill up on a subway and milkshake bar and participate in a raffle to win prizes every quarter.

Take a look at some of the fun from last year’s event:

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USO Bagram, Afghanistan

Troops stationed at Bagram can head to the USO for an early morning pre-game party at 4 a.m. local time. There will be drinks, chips, football-shaped pancakes and waffles for everyone to enjoy. Partygoers can also participate in football-themed trivia during the game. Here’s a few snaps from last year’s fun:

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Europe

USO Grafenwoehr, Germany
Service members and their families stationed near Grafenwoehr and Vilseck, Germany, can enjoy finger foods and drinks at a special pregame tailgate party before enjoying dinner at 7:30 p.m. local time.

Although the game doesn’t start until 12:30 a.m., troops will be able to win raffle prizes and participate in poker tournaments and other fun activities before kickoff.

USO Warrior Center at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany

The USO Warrior Center will host a Super Bowl Party on game day for patients, families and medical staff. Service members can watch football-themed movies all day leading up to an Italian dinner kicking off the evening’s festivities at 8 p.m. local time. From 1:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. local time, troops can enjoy finger foods, watch the game and win football movie DVD giveaways.

USO Ramstein Air Base Passenger Terminal, Germany

The USO at the Ramstein PAX will host a special PAX personnel chili cookoff to celebrate Super Bowl XLIX. Troops on the move through Ramstein will be able to feast on all the competitors’ dishes while enjoying cornbread with honey butter and other refreshments before settling in to watch the game.

Landstuhl Regional Medical Center USO, Germany

On Friday before the big game, the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center USO center will be decked out in football decor to help staff members get in the mood for Sunday’s showdown. Service members can face off in team trivia to win USO tour vouchers as well as play table football and enjoy tailgate appetizers.

Pacific

USO Guam
For troops stationed in Guam, where they say “America’s day begins,” the party starts at 7:30 a.m. local time. Breakfast, lunch and snacks courtesy of Triple J Five Star Foods and the Pacific Islands Club will be served at various time throughout the morning.

Guam

In addition to watching the game on 10 screens throughout the center, service members can also enjoy cake to celebrate the USO’s upcoming 74th Anniversary.

USO Camp Courtney, Japan
Service members can head to USO Camp Courtney for Super Bowl festivities starting at 7 a.m. local time.

In addition to food and beverages, troops will also be able to showcase their video game skills on PS4 or Xbox One.

USO Camp Schwab, Japan
USO Camp Schwab will be ready for football-loving troops at 7 a.m. local time with finger food, popcorn and drinks in addition to nine televisions tuned into the big game.

Want a glimpse of what the party will look like? Check out photos from the 2013 event:

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USO Sasebo, Japan
Starting at 8 a.m. local time, troops stationed near Sasebo can head to the Fleet Landing for a USO Super Bowl party. Service members can enjoy snacks while rooting for their favorite team.

USO Camp Hansen, Japan
Starting at 8 a.m. local time, troops can chow down on freshly prepared waffles and sausages as they cheer on their favorite team. Take a look at some of the fun from last year’s Super Bowl breakfast party:

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USO Camp Foster, Japan
Troops can head over to the USO on Camp Foster for a Super Bowl party kicking off bright and early at 6 a.m. local time.

USO Kadena, Japan
Service members can kick off their morning with USO Kadena’s Super Bowl festivities starting at 6 a.m. local time. There will tailgate snacks and refreshments for troops to enjoy while watching the game on the center’s HDTV!

Take a look a last year’s photos to see what’s in store for this Sunday:

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USO Futenma, Japan
Troops can head over to USO Futenma for a Super Bowl party kicking off at 6 a.m. local time.

USO Camp Walker, South Korea
USO Camp Walker will be partnering with the MWR to host a Super Bowl party at the Hilltop Club, starting at 6 a.m. local time. To get a vibe of this year’s festivities, take a look at some snaps from the 2013 event:

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USO Camp Casey, South Korea
USO Camp Casey for kickoff at 8:30 a.m. local time for a Super Bowl party sponsored by Mr. Nam, Judie’s Realty, Red Cross and the Non-Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA).

Camp Casey

Troops can enjoy food, fun and prize giveaways while cheering on their favorite team.

USO Seoul, South Korea
Doors open at 6 a.m. local time at USO Seoul, where service members can enjoy a free breakfast and cheer on their favorite team.

Seoul

The party, sponsored by the NCOA, will also feature a dance competition and prize giveaways.

USO Humphreys, South Korea
Troops can head over USO Humphreys at 8:30 a.m. local time to grab a free breakfast and catch the big game.

Humphreys

Stateside

USO Coast Guard Base, Boston
Friday before game day, troops near Boston can gear up for a great weekend of football starting at 11 a.m local time. Stop by the USO center for games, popcorn, pizza and the chance to win Patriots-branded prizes.

USO Logan Center, Boston
Starting Friday, USO Logan will be decorated in a football theme as they rev up to cheer on the Patriots. Traveling troops can test their skills with a Super Bowl Trivia game or take the New England Fan Challenge to win prizes.

Guests can also catch all the local pregame television coverage and watch the game in Super Bowl style and comfort on Sunday.  The popcorn machine will be running and there will be plenty of snacks for everyone to enjoy!

USO SeaTac Airport Center, Seattle
Troops traveling through Seattle can catch the game at the airport center while enjoying snacks and other refreshments.

Video: USO Officially Opens Revamped Center at Boston Logan International Airport

BOSTON–The USO has had an active presence at Boston Logan International Airport for over 30 years, so when it came time for the airport to renovate, it allowed the USO to relocate and design a larger space to accommodate the needs of traveling service members.

“We are proud to be able to provide the USO with this new, larger space as they continue their important work supporting our troops and their families,” said Edward Freni, Director of Aviation at Massport.

At nearly twice the size of the previous USO space at Logan Airport, the new center is approximately 1,400 square feet and offers a large seating and living room area as well as an expanded refreshment counter, luggage storage space and food and supplies. New amenities include a space for military families traveling with children — which includes hands-on activities, games and reading materials — a recreation room where troops can play video games, board games and card games, and a designated charging area for personal electronic devices.

“At this new USO center, you will get a glimpse of how today’s USO meets the changing needs of a changing military” said Dr. J.D. Crouch II, USO President and CEO. “Most important is that the extra space that will permit our dedicated USO of New England team to accommodate more troops and families at one time.”

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!