Your USO at Work: The Newsletter of the USO (August 2012)
(Issue 22, August 2012)
Paisley Headlines USO Show at White House
Country music superstar Brad Paisley could not have been more at home as the headliner of the “Salute to the Troops” Fourth of July celebration held on the South Lawn of the White House. Even if he admitted that the setting and occasion left him a bit awe-struck.
“It means a lot,” Paisley said prior to taking the stage in front of a crowd that included 1,200 troops and their families. “This is a large portion of military people here and I couldn’t be more proud to be able to entertain them on this day, a day that they make possible.”
The fourth-annual concert was co-hosted by the USO, which provided logistics and other support for the event. It’s part of the USO’s commitment to the White House’s Joining Forces initiative, which raises awareness of issues facing military families.
“Going back to Bob Hope and what he did during many, many wars, the best thing you can possibly to do for troops is raise morale, I think,” he said. “So it’s really the best thing we can do as musicians and entertainers is to raise their spirits. We need them enthusiastic to do their jobs." Read the story and see more images.
NFL Coaches Take Time for Troops on Middle East Tour
The USO and NFL kicked off the summer with their fourth-annual USO/NFL Coaches Tour to the Middle East.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach and current CBS Sports analyst Bill Cowher, Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, New York Jets assistant special teams coach and Army veteran Ben Kotwica and former NFL coach and current ESPN analyst Eric Mangini spent their Fourth of July holiday with the troops.
As part of the week-long USO tour, the group talked football, shared personal accounts of life on the sidelines and posed for photos with troops.
The USO tour was the second for Cowher, who travelled to Kuwait and Iraq in 2009, and the first for Frazier and Mangini.
Kotwica, on the other hand, is a decorated officer who spent seven years in the Army. The West Point grad spent nearly a year in Iraq in 2004 and also served in Bosnia and Korea. Read the story and see more photos.
A Ride to Remember
For two months, a group of 14 disabled veterans rode bicycles, hand cycles and recumbent cycles nearly 4,000 miles through 14 states—from Sea to Shining Sea.
Americans consistently lined the streets to welcome the Sea to Shining Sea riders to each town, all the way to their final destination of Virginia Beach on June 28.
A USO Mobile RV followed the cyclists for the duration of the trip, providing valuable field support like water, food and shelter from rough weather.
“Support from an organization like the USO means so much to this group of riders who dedicated two months of their lives to crossing the country they defended,” said Paul Tyler, CEO and President of World T.E.A.M. Sports, which organized the event.
Vote Now to Share the Love
The USO is excited to be a contender to be part of the Subaru 2012 “Share the Love” event. From now until August 26, you can vote once a day for the USO at sharethelove.subaru.com/facebook. If the USO is among the charities with the most votes, we’ll be eligible for Subaru’s “Share the Love” event, a holiday event where customers can select one of five charities they would like Subaru to donate $250 to for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased from November 21 through January 2, up to a grand total of $5 million. Get the details and vote today.
Fischetti Makes a Difference
Lindsey Fischetti came to the USO after college looking to work in entertainment. But eight years later, she’s helped the organization establish a niche in providing best-in-class programs to America’s troops and their families.
“I always wanted to work with a non-profit organization to help individuals in need,” said Fischetti, the USO’s Director of Programs. “Having grown up in Virginia Beach, the military community has always been a big part of my life. ... With the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan I was close to a lot of families who were affected by deployment and realized the military community was in need of support.”
The George Mason University grad started with the USO in 2004 as a part-time development assistant. She quickly moved to a full-time post in development and then over into Programs within the space of a year.
“Working in Programs, I have ability to see the work that I do put into action and actually helping military members and their families,” she said. “I feel extremely lucky to have a job where -- even though I sit behind a desk 80 percent of the time -- I still can feel the effects of my work on regular basis and know that what I do is helping the military community.
“I hear from troops regularly who want to express how the USO and our programs have done so much to help them and particularly to raise morale.”
Belvoir Center Takes Shape
The USO Warrior and Family Center on Fort Belvoir, Virginia, has hit several milestones this summer.
The Belvoir center’s roof was completed in late July and the building should be watertight at some point in August, clearing the way for interior construction.
Meanwhile, an official groundbreaking is in the works for the USO Warrior and Family Center in Bethesda, Md., in late 2012.
The two USO Warrior and Family Centers are part of the USO’s Operation Enduring Care and will serve as a home-away-from-home for troops recovering at the nearby military hospitals. Contact the USO at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can help our healing heroes. Read about its progress.
Kangaroo Express Salutes Our Troops
Kangaroo Express’ Salute Our Troops campaign is back for a second year to help the USO. The campaign -- which goes from June 27 through September 4 -- invites guests of 1,600 Kangaroo Express stores across 13 states to donate funds to support the USO’s mission of lifting the spirits of troops and their families.
“Salute Our Troops was an overwhelming success last year, even breaking records as the largest grassroots fundraising initiative in the USO’s 70-year history,” said John Fisher, senior vice president of marketing, merchandising and restaurant operations for Kangaroo Express.
UPCOMING EVENTS* The USO's Congressional Caucus will host a care package stuffing event on September 11 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. * September 17 is POW/MIA Recognition Day * The United States Air Force was established September 18, 1947 * October 8 is Columbus Day * The United States Navy was established October 13, 1775 *