Even in today’s digitally advanced society, a simple phone call to a loved one can bring joy, peace and strength to families separated by service. But expensive international phone rates and service plans are often out of reach for young service members. That’s where the USO steps in.

Operation Phone Home®, one of the services forward-deployed service members most frequently request, is a two-part program. Launched in 2003 as a phone card program, Operation Phone Home® has changed with the times, adding a private telephone network and internet connectivity in 2009.

At our centers located in combat zones, the USO’s private telephone network allows service members to make free phone calls home, provides access to computers with free high-speed Internet bandwidth and offers free wireless internet access for those with their own wifi-enabled device. More and more expectant fathers take advantage of this free internet access to virtually accompany their wives into the delivery room for the birth of their children.

For forward-deployed service members in remote areas without access to our centers, phone cards are still the lifeline that keeps them connected to friends and family. To date, the USO has provided more than 3.2 million free prepaid international calling cards, allowing service members stationed overseas to connect with their loved ones back home.

Though not reliant on the private telephone network, the USO does offer connectivity services at centers around the world.

Want more information? Contact the USO today.

Need to request Operation Phone Home? Download the USO Expeditionary Program Support Request Form here