USO Rhein Main Gives Gaming Troops The Ultimate Ticket to Gamescom 2014

Troops smile outside of the gamescom convention. USO photo.

Troops smile outside of the Gamescom convention. USO photo.

It’s no secret troops love video games. In fact, if you step inside any USO center, one of the first things you’ll likely see is a service member sitting in front of a TV, controller in hand, battling enemies in the latest blockbuster releases.

So when USO Rhein Main staff members heard about Gamescom, a German convention devoted to the latest and greatest innovations in the video game industry, they knew that they had to find a way to get troops there.

“Gaming ranks highly on most troops’ list of hobbies, so why not take them to experience that largest gaming convention in Europe?” said USO Rhein Main Area Operations Manager Ashley Grassl.

As part of its Food and Fun for Free program, which focuses on providing free programming for single and unaccompanied service members,  USO Rhein Main sent 20 soldiers to Gamescom 2014 in Cologne, Germany, earlier this month. From its popular Taco Nights to quarterly cultural tours to explore Germany, the Food and Fun for Free program gives troops a chance to step outside their barracks and enjoy their local surroundings.

Although the trek required troops to wake up early on a Sunday morning, Grassl said they had no trouble filling up the 20 van and bus seats, and even had a waiting list for the trip. Once the service members arrived at Gamescom, USO volunteers gave each of them a wrist band — which allowed them to play any game available — explained the layout of the convention center and let them loose to explore.

“Gamescom boasts that visitors will experience ‘the next generation of gaming,’ and our service members got to experience all of that and more,” Grassl said. “They had the opportunity to experience hands-on game play of games that won’t come out until later this year like ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,’ ‘Borderlands,’ ‘Battlefield’ and ‘Destiny.’”

From participating in multiplay online tournaments to stocking up on promotional freebies, Grassl said Gamescom offered something to keep any gaming enthusiast entertained.

“Gamescom was amazing. The masses came out for a great event. There was seriously something there for everyone,” said Army Spc. D’Lexis Cooley, president of Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden. “BOSS soldiers said that they were going to get their nerd on by gaming. And they did. “

Attack of the Show Brings Battlefield: Bad Company 2 to USO Basrah!

From G4’s Gaming with the Troops: “Time for some Battlefield Bad Company 2 with some good company, and we’re talking about the troops at USO Basrah Base in Iraq. Kevin Pereira and Taryn Southern bring a new round of Gaming with the Troops. We wonder who is going to win, the highly trained, highly skilled soldiers or our hosts.”  Check out the video below and a big thanks to Pro vs. GI Joe for making it possible!

more about “Battlefield: Bad Company 2 with USO B…“, posted with vodpod

USO Grafenwoehr Brings the Super Bowl to Troops!

You don’t have to live Stateside to enjoy a proper Super Bowl party with the USO!

USO Grafenwoehr started off SuperBowl Sunday with an Xbox 360 Madden 10 Football Tournament.  The winners got a camo water pack, a Germany stein and a computer game for first, second and third place.

Troops got to watch the Super Bowl on four TVs, two of which were connected to the NFL Game Pass so they were able to enjoy the American commercials.

The center received donations of finger foods and snacks galore, t-shirts and had a drawing for a football jersey of the winners’ choice.  Brandon Bucknor from Vilseck was the big winner.

The75 soldiers had a great time “at the game,” showing that all it took was a few touches of home from the USO to make it seem like they were all in Miami!

Here are some pics from the party: