In one of the first color photos in our Archives, a USO Volunteer is seen loading up a bus for a USO Tour in Rome, a tradition that continues to this very day! The USO supports our Troops and their families wherever they are, whether with programs and services, celebrity entertainment, or – tours of some of the world’s most famous historical sites. If you’re visiting Rome soon and will be visiting the USO, be sure to check out our current tour offerings.
A tour departs USO Rome - 1975
Henry Fonda holds a special place in the heart of many who saw him tour with the USO during the Vietnam War. Himself a decorated Navy veteran, Fonda put aside personal beliefs and – as he wrote in his 1981 autobiography My Life – toured with the USO because he believed in supporting the Troops: “It was a trip that this (62)-year-old man didn’t want to take, but I felt I had to…for the guys sweating it out and dying in the rice paddies and jungles.”
But the story doesn’t end there. In 2004, the USO moved its main operations from the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, to new offices in Arlington, VA. Among one of the items found during the move was a letter from Fonda to the USO, dated 27 April 1967. He explained in his distinct handwriting that his USO tour in Vietnam was “the most rewarding experience of my life, and I will be forever grateful that I was given this opportunity.”
The picture below was taken during that tour, as a reporter interviews Fonda. We thank him for his service.