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
Nov 16, 2016
‘You Just Feel at Peace’: How USO North Carolina - Jacksonville’s Beirut Room Serves as a Space for Reflection and Healing
In light of the deep impact the 1983 Beirut bombing had on the Jacksonville community over the years, the USO center, with help from Lowe’s Home Improvement, created a special room in its center to honor the victims, survivors and family members affected by the bombing. The space – known as the “Beirut Room” by center staff and volunteers – features a granite wall monument, stained glass angels and several other photos and mementos memorializing those killed in the bombing.
Nov 16, 2016
USO Opens Wellness Focused Center on Joint Base San Antonio
After 75 years of welcoming service members home, the USO received a homecoming of its own. After a grand opening ceremony on Nov. 10, USO San Antonio staff and volunteers officially welcomed guests into the new, state-of-the-art USO San Antonio center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.