Retired National Guard Colonel Gives to the USO for His Two Veteran Sons

Hal Harrington is a retired Army National Guard colonel currently working for the federal government. He has two sons — one officer and one enlisted — who both deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

When it came time to give to the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) this year, his choice of charity was clear.

“I’m always critical, you know, of charity organizations,” said Harrington, who served more than 30 years in the Michigan National Guard, the same organization in which his sons served. “The USO is one I don’t even have to think about. In fact, when I sent my boys off to their basic schools, the USO was part of my safety brief to them. I’d say, ‘Here’s where you’re flying and here’s where you’re going, and here’s the airports that have USO facilities, so stop in and use them.’”

After Harrington retired from the Michigan National Guard, he worked in the private sector for several decades until the economy took a dip in the late 2000s. That’s when he took a job working for the federal government once again, and he was happy to see the CFC had evolved to make giving much easier.

“I’d get those things in the mail for the USO and I donated that way,” Harrington said. “But the CFC made it really easy to give to the organizations I already gave to.”

House1

The CFC is the world’s largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign. Pledges made by federal civilian and military personnel during the campaign season (Sept. 1 to Dec. 15) bring in millions of dollars to support nonprofit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world.

“My hat is off to [the USO] for doing what [it does],” Harrington said. “You go into those airports and sometimes there are two people there and sometimes there’s 10, and sometimes there’s 30 with duffel bags waiting to go. It doesn’t matter what airport you’re in — Atlanta, Denver, Durham … — there’s always service people and there’s always the USO where we know they are being taken care of.”

“If I can support them in any way, shape or form through [the USO] I will — and I do.”

The USO is CFC #11381. 

Support Our Troops through the CFC – Designate #11381

Federal employees can donate to the nonprofits of their choice through the annual Combined Federal Campaign, known as the CFC. Show your support of our troops by designating the USO as a recipient of your CFC contribution. Your donations will help us provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen. We let them know they are not forgotten.

We are happy to participate in your campaign kickoffs or other CFC events. Please contact us about participating.

WHY THE USO?

  • 90% of our resources go directly to USO programs
  • $10 provides the troops 28 phone calls to loved ones back home
  • $25 sends one care package to deployed troops
  • $50 helps support a no-cost dinner for military families at a USO Center

WE NEED YOUR HELP

Wounded, ill and injured service men and women and their families face many difficult challenges upon their return, and the USO is doing all we can to support them.

  • 8.1 million – The number of times that troops and their families visited USO centers worldwide in 2011
  • Over 185,000 – The number of military family members who received support from USO family programs in 2011