One of the most powerful things we do is connect separated parents with their children back home. In 2006, the USO partnered with United Through Reading to host its nationally recognized reading program at select USO centers worldwide. Whether service members are stationed at a forward operating base in Afghanistan or otherwise geographically separated, they can visit their participating USO center to read a story aloud to their child.

Story time is recorded on camera, and the USO mails the DVD and book home. Children can watch and listen to their parent at bedtime, naptime – or anytime. Families complete the circle by sending back a touch of home – a photo of the child watching the deployed mom or dad reading. In 2014, more than 18,000 recordings were mailed to military families worldwide.