FORT BENNING, Georgia—It’s always a sunny day on Sesame Street. But Friday, Elmo, Cookie Monster and the Muppets had an extra special reason to sing and dance with all their friends: The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families entertained its 500,000th military family member.
“The fact that we hit that particular number is a giant milestone for us,” said Nicole McClendon, tour manager for the USO/Sesame Street Experience for Military Families. “It was just so amazing to be able to work so closely with everyone here at Fort Benning to make this moment so special.”
To commemorate the milestone, Elmo and his Muppet friends posed with the audience for a commemorative photograph after their performance. Audience members also received a special cookie to take home with them in addition to other Sesame Street/USO tour goodies.
“I might have told them that they came from Cookie Monster, but [assured the kids] he didn’t eat them [all] before the show,” McClendon said.
Since 2008, this longest-running annual USO tour has delivered memorable moments to hundreds of thousands of military children and their parents through more than 735 shows at more than 140 military bases in 11 countries.
“Five hundred thousand represents the number of smiles Elmo and Katie have brought to military kids and their families … as the tour has traveled around the world,” USO President and CEO Dr. J.D. Crouch II said in a release.
“We thank our friends at Sesame Street for helping to make this possible and we look forward to seeing many more smiling faces as the tour continues its journey.”
More from the USO
Dec 14, 2017
Prosthetists Provide Amputees a Helping Hand – and Foot – On Their Road to Recovery
More than 1,500 American troops have lost a limb since 2001, in Afghanistan or Iraq or other deployments around the world. Walter Reed — first at the old campus in Washington, D.C., and now at the new facility in Bethesda — is where they take their first steps toward a new reality.
Dec 13, 2017
Delivering a USO Care Package in 360°
What does it take to get a USO Care Package into the hands of deployed service members? The answer is a lot of time and a lot of hard work by USO volunteers and staff. Watch the video to follow a USO Care Package along its journey to troops overseas.
Dec 13, 2017
California Guard Aids Police in Helping Families Affected by Wildfires
Soldiers from the California Army National Guard’s 140th Chemical Company helped local police shuttle residents into the areas devastated by wildfires and helped to unload their precious belongings once they’d returned.