As we approach Veterans Day, November 11, it is important to honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans of the past, present and tomorrow—those men and women who, upon their return home, become living, breathing testaments to duty, honor and selfless service and sacrifice.
To offer your thanks and support, the USO has a new program for Americans to send thanks from across the United States to our troops and their families for their service and sacrifice. Visit the newly redesigned USO.org to send your personal messages of appreciation to those who so deserve it, and the USO will place a pin on the US map, displaying these messages based on geography . Our goal is to COLOR THE MAP between now and Thanksgiving with thousands of notes, as Americans send THANKS FROM EVERYWHERE. Go to USO.org/thanks now to send your note today.
A special message from USO President Sloan Gibson:
As the holiday season approaches, I hope you’ll take a moment to remember the brave men and women who are doing so much to keep our country and our families safe. Many of our troops won’t be able to make it home for the holidays this year, so the USO is launching a special campaign to honor their service called Support Our Troops: Home or Away.
Thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, the USO stands with our troops in forward operating bases in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world. But we’re also there for troops stationed all over the USA and our heroic wounded warriors who have returned from the front lines.
The USO makes sure that everywhere our troops are, there is a touch of home and a friendly smile to welcome them. We provide free phone calls to loved ones back home, entertainment tours with today’s best entertainers and care packages full of all the things that remind them that they are loved and appreciated. Your gift will make sure these great initiatives continue to let our troops know we will always be there for them!
P.S. — The final deadline to make a donation to the USO’s Supporting Our Troops: Home or Awaycampaign and receive your jersey-style t-shirt is midnight on October 31. Spread the word…
Troops enjoy a BBQ at the grand re-opening of the Pat Tillman Memorial USO Center in Bagram, Afghanistan on July 8, 2009. (USO Photo by Dave Gatley)
Wherever you are this Independence Day, know that our USO Family wishes you a happy and healthy holiday! The USO lifts the spirits of troops and their families millions of times a year at thousands of places worldwide, and we want to extend a special THANK YOU to all of those serving and all who have served.
In celebration, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite summertime and patriotic photos from the past seven decades – we hope you enjoy!
And as you gather around the grill or pull out the lawn chairs for fireworks, take a moment to remember the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform…Until Every One Comes Home.
A serviceman and USO volunteer enjoy the perfect snack on a hot day! (USO archives, date unknown)
A military spouse and her child enjoy ice cream at a USO event in the 1950s. (USO archives)
"I want to be just like you when I grow up." (USO archives)
Grilling out at a USO Center in China Beach. (USO archives)
Here’s one of our favorite photos from the archives:
What can you tell us about this photo?
Unfortunately, we don’t have any record of where or when this was captured. It’s such a beautiful moment, and we would love to have more information about it. Please join the USO in a search for clues that might reveal something about who these men are and what brought them together to decorate an evergreen on this beach.
Happy Birthday, Army! Celebrations around the world are commemorating the 235th year of the US Army and we here at the USO are proud to be a part of that tradition. The Army has set up a special website and they’ve created a place where you can submit a video with your birthday wishes! And if you’re on Twitter, be sure to join in the celebration: @USArmy will be hosting an #ArmyBirthday Twitter Party on Mon, June 14 from 1-2:30 EST. Send your birthday wishes & Shout-outs to the Army via Twitter
Today is also Flag Day, the day when we commemorate the official adoption of the “Stars and Stripes” in 1777 by the Second Continental Congress. The National Flag Day Foundation has information on the history and observance of this holiday and the American Legion’s Flag Advocacy site has a wealth information on the Flag Code and more. We hope you’ll join us in saluting the American Flag today – and every day – and remember all that it stands for!
Audience members proudly display the Stars and Striped during a Toby Keith USO Tour at Camp Victory in 2007. (USO Photo by Dave Gatley)