Vice President Joe Biden Stops by USO-Hosted Picnic in South Korea

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Vice President Joe Biden – at the end of a diplomatic trip to Asia – dropped by Yongsan Garrison, South Korea, last weekend for a visit with service members. And despite the short notice, the USO was able to pull off a memorable meet-and-greet for hundreds of troops and their families.

“A highlight of the event was when [Biden] invited all the children to come up on stage to join him for his remarks,” USO Korea Area Director Tony Davis wrote in an email recap of the event. “Most of the kids had USO teddy bears tucked in their arms!”

The USO put on a picnic for nearly 500 troops and family members. The Eighth Army Band entertained the crowd while children had access to bouncy castles and a host of games. After speaking, Biden took time to mingle and pose for pictures with several attendees.

The DCC to Cheer on Troops and Their Families in Korea on USO Holiday Tour

WHAT: USO tour featuring Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders (DCC)

WHEN: Dec. 21 -30, 2010

WHERE: Korea

WHY: Busy bringing cheer and joy to troops and their families are America’s sweethearts The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, who will soon depart on their 73 USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour. As part of the week-long visit, the group will put on 6 performances, host cheerleading clinics, sign autographs and participate in meet and greets with troops and their families serving overseas in Korea.

The most traveled of USO tour veterans, the DCC has a more than 30-year history of supporting service men and women and their families. Earlier this month members from the DCC participated in the annual Sergeant Major of the Army USO Holiday tour, and extended America’s heartfelt gratitude to troops serving in the Middle East.

Photos from the Field – September 2010

Periodically, we’re bringing you the best in USO photography from around the world.  Enjoy this latest installment of our photo essays!

(P.S. – if you know any of the photographers of images that don’t credit one, please let us know!)

A panoramic shot of the recently built center at USO Fort Riley. What a view! (Photo by Virginia Hagin of HaginPhotography)

A group of Marines serving in Afghanistan enjoy some comforts of home courtesy of their USO2Go kits. (Photo by their Command Chaplain)

Flyover in formation as part of Korean Air Force training for Armed Forces Day. (Photo courtesy of USO Korea Facebook page)

Morning rising above Sather Air Base, home of the USO Baghdad. (USO photo by Richard McCarty, via USO Baghdad Facebook page)

Photos from the Field

Periodically, we’re bringing you the best in USO photography from around the world.  Enjoy this first installment of our photo essays!

USO Bagram held a Texas Hold 'Em tournament and this Troop kept his cards close to the vest.

The Early Show's Dave Price sports his new USO gear in style during a segment where Wounded Warriors visited the set of the show courtesy of USO Fort Drum.

Volunteers at USO Kandahar distributed Tim Horton doughnuts and muffins to hungry Troops!

USO of Indiana volunteers snapped this picture during the Blue Star Salute at Stout Field in Indianapolis. The event was conducted by American Legion Post 145.

USO of Wisconsin recently welcomed home 32nd Red Arrow IBCT - thank you for your service!

On June 18, 2010, USO Korea held a Goodwill Golf Tournament, which was a huge success for all that attended and sponsored the event. Join them in October for their Invitational!

USO Galas Galore!

It’s been a busy few weeks for USO’s around the world as they celebrate our Troops with galas.  USO of Metropolitan Washington, USO Hawaii, USO Guam, and USO Korea have all put on wonderful events in April.  We’d like to share a few of the highlights!

On April 8, USO Korea hosted their 39th Annual USO Six Star Salute, a salute to the honorable service and sacrifices of military members securing freedom on the Korean peninsula.  Special guests included Washington State Senator Paull Shin; LTG Joseph F. Fil, Jr; Oh, Sae Chang, Mayor of Dongducheon City; Joseph T. McCabe, president of BAE Systems; and the USO Council of Korea.

The Six Star Salute began in 1970 when a group of Korean civic leaders chose to express their country’s gratitude by bestowing the honorary rank of “Six Star” to exemplary enlisted personnel serving throughout the Republic of Korea.  The tradition continues and this year the USO will honor 39 Americans, 39 Koreans, one Filipino and one Thai.  These service members are selected by their commanders for outstanding duty performance, impeccable personal conduct, advancements in education and contributions to the community.

This year, the eighty junior enlisted personnel from the United Nations Command, U.S. Forces Korea, and Republic of Korea armed services were honored and for two days were regarded as VIPs in the City of Seoul; a highlight was the luncheon hosted by the Mayor of Seoul on April 9.  Each honoree received the USO Six Star Medal and also toured the Korean War Memorial, Kyungbuk Palace, the National Assembly of Korea .  Four honorees also received The USO Scholarship Award, an educational grant that will enable them to continue their educational endeavors.

This year's keynote speaker, Washington State Senator Paull Shin, addresses the audience at USO Korea's 39th Annual Six Star Salute.

On April 14th, USO of Metropolitan Washington feted the Troops at their 28th annual awards dinner.  James L. Jones Jr., national security advisor and retired Marine Corps general, and L. Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary of intergovernmental and public affairs for the Department of Veterans Affairs and disabled Army pilot, presented the USO Merit Award to actor-musician brothers Kevin and Michael Bacon. They often visit wounded warriors recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.  American Forces Press Service covered the event.

Also in attendance were Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Naval Academy graduate Montel Williams, National Football League Hall of Fame offensive lineman Anthony Munoz, Miss American 2010 Caressa Cameron and author and professional wrestler Mick Foley.  Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad W. Allen and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston also attended, and the 82nd Airborne Division All American Chorus performed.

“I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that there were some 210,000 [troops] serving as we speak around the world, many in harm’s way,” the admiral said. “They give us the opportunity to celebrate as we have tonight. … We should never forget, and keep them in our hearts and prayers.”  It was a tremendous event and we’d like to congratulate USO of Metropolitan Washington and all of the men and women in uniform who were honored!

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addresses the audience at the annual USO of Metropolitan Washington Gala in Arlington, Va., April 14, 2010. (DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley)