United Through Reading Tonight on NBC Nightly News

Be sure to watch NBC Nightly News this evening, as United Through Reading’s Military Program will be featured!  Learn more about how this innovative program keeps military families connected through the gift of books and a shared story.  Be sure to check your local listings for times.

Can’t wait until tonight to hear about United Through Reading?  Check out this great story from USO Kuwait…

A USO volunteer colors in the United Through Reading logo on a T-wall right outside the USO center at Camp Ali Al Salem. (USO Photo by Duane DeVorak)

Sailor’s Hobby Gives Back to USO
by Duane DeVorak, Media Director, Camp Ali Al Salem

Deployed service members dedicate hard work to their job and the branch they serve in; however that does not mean they have to sacrifice their other hobbies and passions.  One sailor uses his skills as a cartoonist to beautify the base and build morale.

The USO at Camp Ali Al Salem (AAS) was trying to promote the already successful United Through Reading program and Keon Moore, one of the Duty Managers at AAS realized one way to do this was to paint one of the T-Walls outside of the center.

“While on a deployment service members look for any opportunity to bring themselves closer to their families.  Whether it’s through morale calls or e-mails there is always a way to reach that love one back home, but another way to connect to the little one in your life is the USO’s UTR program,” said Moore.  “That’s why it’s so important to promote this program.”

USO Volunteers and Duty Manager Keon Moore work on the Dr. Seuss UTR wall into the wee hours of the night to get it done. The wall was painted to help promote the already popular USO program. (USO Photo by Duane DeVorak)

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ronald Kaopuiki had already painted several walls for Navy Customs here at Camp AAS.  It was no surprise when he was asked to paint one for the USO that he agreed to help out in no time

“I did this for the kids basically,” said Kaopuiki.  “By painting this wall I am able to help promote this program and get service members to read to their children.”

Kaopuiki along with three other USO volunteers completed the wall in about seven hours.  The entire wall was done so quickly thanks to his idea of painting with spray paint.

The theme selected was Dr. Seuss, since the popular character is so well known and people will automatically look to see what the wall is all about.

Since 2006, United Through Reading recordings made by troops at USO centers has steadily increased. In the first year, a little more than 4,200 recordings took place at USO locations. The total number grew to more than 20,000 in 2008 and reached 57,000 in 2009.

Grab Your Own Widget to Share “The Pacific”

HBO’s series “The Pacific” premiered last Sunday and continues to air Sunday nights through May 16, 2010.  We love the interactive website that accompanies the film, especially the Tributes: Share Your Story section.

Now you can share the this series and these stories online with “The Pacific” widget.  Just click on the image at right and follow the directions – it’s easy.

Know someone who should share their story, but doesn’t have access to a computer?  HBO has set up computer kiosks at museums across the country where visitors can record their tributes.

There are so many ways to participate – let us know about your experience!

Also be sure check out the video star-studded premiere…we think we see a few USO tour veterans in there.  Way to go!

Hallmark Channel’s “Meet My Mom Virtual Wall” Connects Families for Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, Hallmark Channel, America’s premier family-friendly entertainment company, is pulling double duty in not only celebrating the moms we love, but also the soldiers who protect our freedoms every day with the Hallmark Channel in HD Original Movie “Meet My Mom,” premiering Saturday, May 8 (9p.m. ET/PT, 8C).

As the film’s premiere approaches, Hallmark Channel is seizing the opportunity to celebrate moms and, in particular, military families, Hallmark Channel’s Facebook page will play host to a unique ‘Meet My Mom Virtual Wall,’ where not only viewers, but soldiers serving in all parts of the world, can submit photos, testimonials and videos as a tribute to their own moms.

Beginning March 17, soldiers can go to and upload photos of them and their moms, 60 second videos or text testimonials.  The interactive forum will go live on April 19 for all to see, and is just a small way to connect families who are far apart this Mother’s Day.
“90210” and “Full House” actress Lori Loughlin stars in the impactful story as Dana, a recent divorcee whose son becomes pen pals with Vince, a solider serving overseas.  When Vince returns stateside on leave, he visits his young friend, only to fall for Dana.  But with another tour of duty on the horizon, Dana must decide if she has the strength to love someone whose life is constantly in harm’s way.“Meet My Mom” starring Lori Loughlin, Stefanie Powers and Johnny Messner premieres Saturday, May 8 (9p.m. ET/PT, 8C) exclusively on Hallmark Channel.

Sons of Anarchy: On Tour, In Their Own Words

As FX’s Sons of Anarchy continue their tour of the Persian Gulf, they’re taking some time out to talk to military reporters about their experiences with the Troops.

Actors Kim Coates, Mark Boone Junior, Theo Rossi and Dayton Callie are on an eight-day tour.  At right, Dayton Callie of FX’s Sons of Anarchy signs the poker table of a group of soldiers who traveled from Camp Buerhing to Camp Ali Al Salem for a chance to see some of the cast members form the hit series. (USO Photo by Duane DeVorak)

They might play tough guys on the show, but we think they have hearts of gold!

More Adventures with the Sons of Anarchy

Actors Dayton Callie, Kim Coates, Mark Boone Junior and Theo Rossi from the FX hit series Sons of Anarchy pose with staff at USO Camp Al Al Salem as part of their first USO entertainment tour. (USO Photo by Duane DeVorak)

Actors Theo Rossi, Mark Boone Junior and Kim Coates sign autographs for service members as part of their first USO sponsored tour. (USO Photo by Duane DeVorak)

Sons of Anarchy cast members show off the USO coins they just received from the staff of USO Camp Ali Al Salem as a thank you for coming out to Kuwait. This was the first sponsored USO tour for Sons of Anarchy. (USO Photo by Duane DeVorak)

Mark Boone Junior of FX’s Sons of Anarchy signs the poker table of a group of soldiers who traveled from Camp Buerhing to Camp Ali Al Salem for a chance to see some of the cast members from the hit series. (USO Photo by Duane DeVorak)

Sons of Anarchy cast members show off a Harley Davidson banner with Troops, staff, and volunteers at Camp Ali Al Salem. (USO Photo by Duane DeVorak)

HBO Invites You to Thank Our Veterans and Active Military

The USO is proud to be working with HBO on The Pacific video tribute campaign and invites you to thank our veterans and active military.  Record a personal message of thanks right on your computer by visiting The Pacific: Tributes website and downloading the HBO Pacific Video Tribute Widget.

The Pacific, a 10-part miniseries event, executive produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman, the producers of Band of Brothers, starts March 14 at 9PM, following Sundays at 9PM, only on HBO. Don’t get HBO?  Can’t wait for Sunday?  Get exclusive updates on Facebook and be sure to follow HBO on Twitter.