From staff reports
From Okinawa to rural Missouri, it’s been a banner year for USO storytelling. Here are six of our (and judging by the clicks, your) favorite stories from 2015.
Recognizing the needs of an overwhelmed mother, quick-thinking USO volunteer Peggy Littrell fashioned a makeshift crib from two chairs she found inside the USO lounge inside Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, facing them toward each other and lining the furniture with a blanket.
“[My husband] saw the photo it was one of the rare times I’ve seen him cry,“ said Beth Moore, the military spouse Littrell helped out.
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Losing a parent can be devastating. Losing a parent while on military duty adds a new set of obstacles that can overwhelm the most prepared soldier.
In December 2012, after learning his father suddenly passed way, Army Spc. Austin Hunsinger — who was stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina — had to juggle an emergency leave request, funeral arrangements and booking last-minute flights all in a matter of hours.
When he finally arrived at the airport to go back to Rochester, New York, he was exhausted. He’d been up all night speaking with his family. So he sat down in the airport, fell asleep and missed his flight.
Read how the USO came through for him.
In honor of the USO’s 74th birthday, we took a trip through time to revisit some of the iconic images we’ve captured. See the full set of photos here.
Marylin Monroe at a USO show in Korea in 1954.
Troops hold up a “Hi Bob” banner during one of Bob Hope’s USO shows. USO photo
Leaders from the six founding organizations of the USO shake hands in 1941. USO photo
If you’ve been in the military for a while, you probably have a case or a rack (or a vintage sea chest) to display your coins.
Learn some of the cool stories behind the coins USO employees have picked up over the years here.
Did you know that in 1779, Margaret Corbin became the first woman to receive a military pension? During the Revolutionary War, Corbin manned her husband’s canon after he was shot and killed in battle. Corbin was subsequently injured in the same battle and never fully recovered from her wounds.
Read about Corbin and more American military pacesetters here.
Whether he’s visiting patients at the hospital, comforting troops at the Warrior Transition Unit or hanging out with military families at USO Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, Bandit is always ready to comfort those in need.
More from the USO
Jul 20, 2016
'We’re Here for the Soldiers’: How One Volunteer Couple Answered the Call to Serve at USO Fort Hood
Anne Cosper always wanted to volunteer at the USO. So when her daughter, who currently serves in the U.S. Army, was reassigned to Fort Hood – only an hour drive from her Georgetown, Texas, home – she decided it was the perfect opportunity to get involved at the USO center on base.
Jul 20, 2016
How USO SeaTac’s ‘Banana’ Bob Got His Nickname
Bob Harris first began volunteering at the USO Northwest Seattle-Tacoma International Airport center in 2013. Shortly after he started, he was asked if he’d be interested in picking up donated bananas and bringing them to the airport center once a week. It wasn’t long after his first delivery that Bob realized the donations runs had earned him a new nickname.