The gang poses in front of their new ride. (Photo: Fred Greaves / USO)
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Sesame Street/USO Experience 2012 Tour Begins at Scott AFB

Monday, April 09, 2012

By Christian Pelusi 

A new ride and a new character help to propel the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families tour into 2012 while packing its customary collection of feel-good songs and important messages for military families across the country.

Scheduled to roll onto more than 65 military installations across the United States to perform approximately 235 high-energy shows, the program focuses on the issue of military relocations, a common challenge facing today’s military community as experienced through Katie, a 6-year-old girl who is beginning to feel the sadness and uncertainty of her father’s newest base transfer.

“We couldn’t have hoped for a better partner than Sesame Workshop or picked a better month to kick off our latest phase than April, the Month of the Military Child,” said Sloan Gibson, USO President and CEO. “The USO has been supporting troops and their families for more than 71 years and this tour is a continuation of just that. With the help of friends like Elmo, Cookie Monster and Katie as well as happy songs, we are able to lift the spirits of our nation’s military children like never before.”

Sesame Workshop President and CEO Melvin Ming echoed Gibson’s sentiments.

“The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families is near and dear to the heart of Sesame Workshop, and we are thrilled to call the USO our partner on this adventure. Our goal is to reach as many military children and their families as we can with Elmo and Katie’s messages of hope and resilience.  And as we begin our sixth phase of this tour, we are proud to see the number of troops and their families reached by this effort only grow.” 

To assist in spreading the smiles that come with the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families show, a team of skilled designers based in Orlando wrapped “The Sesame Street/USO Tour Bus” in hundreds of yards of vinyl to transform a normal bus into a souped-up machine worthy of the colorful characters that travel in it. (See the video.)

The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families made its debut in July 2008 to help families deal with the challenges of deployment and homecomings. Since the tour's inception four years ago, the tour has taken its message to more than 248,000 troops and military families and performed 433 shows on 131 military bases in 33 states and eleven countries. The 2012 tour will run through November.

To learn more about the tour, see event photos and learn where the tour is heading next, visit

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Photo caption: The gang poses in front of their new ride. (Photo: Fred Greaves / USO) 

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