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Sesame Street/USO Experience to Reach 400,000th Military Family Member

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sesame Street and the USO have extended their world tour to bring Katie — a Sesame Street character and military child experiencing the stresses of moving to a new duty station — to military installations in Guam and Hawaii. In doing so, it will reach it’s 400,000th military family member sometime this fall.
Since 2008, the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families has preformed more than 630 shows on 150 military installations in 11 different countries.
Angela Hong, Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families coordinator, grew up in Katie’s shoes as a military child, so she understands the pressures military kids face.
“There are many things in my military family life that I previously did not understand or appreciate that I now wouldn’t trade for anything else,” Hong recently shared with the USO. “But it took a long time and life experiences to understand. The work that Sesame Street and the USO do to help our nation’s military families is an invaluable investment in their futures.”
From Germany to Japan, and from Alaska to the South Pacific, the Sesame Street/USO Experience has been on the road providing shows free of charge. The tour is currently winding through U.S. military installations in Japan and South Korea. It will travel to Guam on Nov. 3 and stop at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, on Nov. 17.
“I wish I knew Katie when I was a young, a nervous girl moving to different countries,” Hong wrote. “When I was a child I remember sitting in the room my brother and I shared, packing up brown boxes and filling them with my stuffed animals and toys. Our family was moving, yet again, as my father had been assigned to a base all the way in Germany. I remember not understanding why we always had to move and what it meant to have a father in the military.
“Katie experienced all the sad and worried feelings that I remember having as a child. But she helps military kids understand they aren’t alone and why moving and/or changes in life have to happen. Katie further helps children see the positives in moving, like making new friends, seeing new places, and keeping in touch with old ones!
“I’ve always wanted to help the next generation of children to understand what it means when you’re part of a military family and all the wonderful aspects of military life – experiencing different cultures, meeting new friends, taking pride in your family’s service and sacrifice, and learning to be resilient. I’m privileged now to be able to take part in the effort by Sesame Street and the USO, to help others who are experiencing what I did.”
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Update, 10/2: The USO is proud to announce that the tour reached the 400,000 milestone on Wednesday in Kadena Air Base in Japan.

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