USO Brings Mother’s Day Treatment to Kandahar-Based Troops

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Mom doesn’t get much thanks downrange.

The USO Southwest Regional Team understood this, and went out of their way to give a special thanks to the women of Kandahar Airfield’s Role 3 Trauma Hospital with a spa day on Sunday.

“These ladies work long hours on their feet and have little time to pamper themselves,” USO Southwest Asia wrote on its Facebook page.

The spa experience included manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. More than 100 treatments were provided.

Check out USO Southwest Asia’s Facebook page for more details.

-Story by USO Story Development

Life at the USOs in Afghanistan

I have been so fortunate to spend the last few days working with our staff and volunteers supporting America’s brave men and women in uniform serving in the Southwest Asia region. Some of my time was spent at the Pat Tillman Memorial USO Center in Bagram, Afghanistan and the remainder with my colleagues at the Southwest Asia Regional Conference.

After spending nearly a week in the region, I know that my friends and colleagues back home will inevitably ask me, “What did you learn?” I am having a hard time linking together words that will even begin to illustrate the challenges, sacrifices and rewards that those in the region experience on a daily basis.

People gather for some music at USO Kandahar

Evenings in Afghanistan bring an influx of service members to USO Centers in the region. The service members have finished their duties for the day and look forward to connecting with friends and family back home. My first night at the USO Center in Bagram I watched hundreds of service men and women connect with their families using the free phone lines and computers. The center was packed with people, but that didn’t phase the troops. Cup after cup of coffee was dispensed, more than 1000 cups that evening, as the men and women waited their turn for the phone or computer. For some, a place to sit and the free USO Wi-Fi connection was all that was needed to connect them to their lives back home.

The next morning we toted a large duffel of mail to the Post Office and unloaded package after package of United Through Reading’s Military Program recordings. Each package contains a very personal recording- a service member connecting to their child or children through reading. These recordings were all made in the past few days. The little hearts drawn in a rainbow of colored markers on the outside of one of the packages destined for Hawaii caught my eye. “Isn’t that great?” said Cathe Ganley, Pat Tillman Memorial USO Duty Manager. “She comes in frequently to read to her children.”

Playing volleyball at the USO in Bagram

The remainder of the day we prepared chicken soup in crock pots, handed out messages of thanks from the states, swapped stories and jokes and of course, served cup after cup of coffee. My time in the region, although short, taught me that every smile, every handshake, every kind gesture makes a difference. Thank you to those brave men and women serving our country and thank you to the staff and volunteers of the Southwest Asia region for helping troops stay connected to their lives back home and bringing a touch of home to some of the harshest areas of the world. – Andrea Sok, USO Communications Manager

Check Out the Video from the 2010 Coaches Tour

(L to R) 2nd Lt. Nick Mercurio, Iowa Graduate Assistant Charlie Bullen, Gunnery Sergeant Will Cuellar, Harvard University head Football Coach Tim Murphy, and wounded warrior Ryan Kules of the Wounded Warrior Project take time out to pose for a group photo during the 2010 USO/Morale Entertainment Coaches Tour. (Morale Entertainment photo by Blake Belcher)

As you no doubt read on the blog last week, the USO/Morale Entertainment 2010 Coaches Tour spent nine days in Germany and Southwest Asia spending time with Troops.  West Point head coach Rich Ellerson, University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly, Harvard University head coach Tim Murphy, and University of Illinois head coach Ron Zook were each on their first USO tour, and they made this videos along the way.  Enjoy!

Working with the USO: Southwest Asia

The Duty Managers at USO Baghdad ensured that Troops waiting for connecting flights were well equipped with USO Care Packages.

Just because there’s the occasional pool party, a game of touch football with NFL players and coaches, or ten-song set from the likes of the Zac Brown Band doesn’t mean that serving in Southwest Asia is anything like a “normal” experience.

And working for the USO in that region has its own unique rewards and challenges.  Check out this great new video from our own videographer that gives insight into what it’s like as a USO employee in Southwest Asia…

Interesting with working with us?  Click here to learn about USO opportunities today!