Since before the United States entered World War II, the USO (United Service Organizations) has been the bridge between the American public and the U.S. military. In times of peace and war, the USO has consistently delivered its special brand of comfort, morale and recreational services to the military. The USO, a congressionally chartered, private, nonprofit organization, relies on the generosity of individuals and corporations to support USO activities.
Today, the USO delivers its programs and services at more than 130 locations around the world with a paid staff and a volunteer corps numbering 26,000. In recent years, the USO opened centers in Kuwait, Qatar and Afghanistan to support service members participating in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, as well as centers in Vicenza, Italy, and at the Dallas/Fort Worth, Raleigh/Durham, Denver and Charlotte-Douglas Airports.
Military personnel and family members visited USO centers more than 5.6 million times last year. Services include free Internet and e-mail access, libraries and reading rooms, housing assistance, family crisis counseling, support groups, game rooms and nursery facilities.
The USO reaches out through:
- Airport centers, welcoming weary military travelers with a place to rest and the ability to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings;
- Family and community centers, promoting intercultural understanding and orientation to unfamiliar locations; and
- Mobile USOs, reaching out to troops in remote and sometimes unstable locations.
USO celebrity entertainment tours bring volunteer celebrities to entertain, lift morale, and express the gratitude and support of the American people. For more than 66 years, the USO's mission has remained the same. The USO will support U.S. troops and their families wherever they serve. Across the United States and around the world, the American military knows that the USO is there for them. By supporting the USO, Americans show their appreciation and express their gratitude to the men and women who defend us.
USO programs include USO Operation Phone Home®, Operation USO Care Package, United Through Reading® Military Program, the Mobile USO program, Operation Enduring Care, USO CarePages, USO Operation Mail Call and Gifts from the Homefront.