The White House Shows Support for Our Military Families over the 4th!

U.S. President Barack Obama welcomes military families to a barbeque on the South Lawn of the White House as First Lady Michelle Obama also attends to celebrate Independence Day, July 4, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Theiler (UNITED STATES)

We hope our military families had a great time at the 4th of July celebration at the White House this weekend!  We were proud to present the Second Annual “Salute to the Military” USO Concert, featuring The Killers, Brandi Carlile, Cedric “The Entertainer,” and “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed over 1,200 families and the First Lady also shared a special message for the American People.  From WhiteHouse.gov: “The First Lady is asking 100 percent of Americans to support the brave men and women in uniform and their families back home. Here are some things you can do in your community to get started:

  • Stay informed about the activities and concerns of military families in your community and across the nation;
  • Take time out to get to know and express appreciation to military families;
  • Help ensure military families have the opportunity to share their stories and voice their concerns in your community;
  • Help ensure the places where you work, worship, and participate in community life connect their activities to addressing military families’ unique challenges; and
  • Identify opportunities in your communities to tap into the unique skills, experience and commitment to service our military families display each day.”

Watch the video below and be sure to share these ways to show support for military families in your neighborhoods and towns!

Bush Library Celebrates the USO!

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is in College Station, TX.

George Bush, 41st president of the United States, and Mrs. Barbara Bush will host an event celebrating the USO and its role in lifting the spirits of America’s men and women in uniform and their families. Event panelists will include Gary Sinise, a film and TV star; Mayra Veronica, singer and model; Major General Jeffery W. Hammond, U.S. Army, chief of staff of U.S. Forces Command; and Sloan Gibson, the 22nd president and CEO of United Service Organizations (USO).

The doors will open at 3:00 p.m. A limited number of free tickets are available in the Bryan-College Station community at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Texas A&M University’s MSC Box Office, B-CS Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Eagle, KBTX, and WTAW. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good - watch the trailer of this moving documentary at http://www.ltdanbandmovie.com/

The event will include remarks from the panelists about the ongoing mission of the USO and an audience question-and-answer session. The forum will be followed by a reception and screening of the award-winning film The Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good, which will be hosted by Jonathan Flora, the film’s director.  The USO event will also have a Mobile Canteen on hand.  Attendees will be able to contribute to the USO’s efforts by donating supplies including toiletries and items to benefit deployed troops.  The items can be dropped off beginning at 12:00 pm at the Mobile USO at the George Bush Presidential Library Center. For a list of suggested items, click here.

Even if you can’t make it to College Station, though, you should be able to watch some of the event live on C-SPAN and the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum website.  We’ll give you more details as they become available.

President’s Day Quiz – How Well Do You Know YOUR USO?

Happy President’s Day! In honor of our nation’s Commanders in Chief, we’ve created a fun quiz for you this holiday. Using the clues below, figure out which President did what for the USO. Email your answers to commrequest@uso.org, and if you get all eight right, you’ll be entered in a drawing for some fabulous USO gifts! (And don’t think you can just Google all the answers – we’re smarter than that!)

President Harry S Truman with a "USO Couple" in an undated picture.

1. This President signed the USO Congressional Charter into law (Title 36, U.S. Code, Chapter 45), signaling the beginning of the USO as a completely independent agency.

2. This President hosted the first Operation USO Care Package stuffing party on the White House lawn, which resulted in 3,000 care packages assembled – some by the President himself! – for Troops serving overseas.

3. This President was awarded the first Presidential Spirit of Hope Award at a USO Gala.  Coincidentally, his father was one of the key people behind the creation of the organization in 1941.

4. This President – along with the First Lady – traveled to Fort Belvoir to participate in an Operation USO Care Package stuffing party, staying over an hour assembling care packages and talking to USO staff and volunteers. It was his first official visit to the base.

5. This President called for a private entity to meet the recreational needs of Troops during World War II.  The Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board then coordinated their civilian efforts to form the United Service Organizations, or USO.

6. This President was the first to have a Navy ship named after him.  That aircraft carrier has since been host to numerous USO celebrity entertainment shows.

7. This President reestablished the USO as a peacetime organization, writing in a letter, “I am particularly happy to see Veterans Hospital Camp Shows included in the program of the USO. They serve the double purpose of entertaining the men and giving them the much-needed assurance that they are remembered.”

8. This President bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom  - the highest honor awarded a civilian in the US – to Bob Hope, in recognition of his years of service to the USO and nation’s Troops.