[caption id=“attachment_13754” align=“aligncenter” width=“750”] Actress Hilary Swank, center, and USO Senior Vice President Alan Reyes participate in a panel discussion following the premiere of Duracell’s new film “The Teddy Bear” on Thursday at The Times Center in New York. Courtesy photo[/caption]
Actress Hilary Swank has played several roles, but her first was as the daughter of a now-retired Air Force senior master sergeant.
Swank joined military couple Robert and Denise Nilson (Robert is an air traffic controller in the Navy), Duracell’s Jeff Jarrett and USO Senior Vice President Alan Reyes on Thursday in New York to promote the USO’s partnership with Duracell and the company’s new movie “The Teddy Bear.” The film – which you can watch below – is based on the Nilsons’ deployment experiences.
“One of the biggest eye-openers was watching my husband sail away,” Denise Nilson said. “I believe out of the seven-and-a-half-month deployment, we saw my husband’s face three times via Skype. And only one of them my girls were able to see.”
Denise Nilson was six weeks pregnant when Robert deployed, and they already had two young daughters – one of whom is autistic – and a pet. By the time he returned, the family pet had passed away, they’d gotten a new puppy and Denise was ready to deliver their son at any moment.
“I don’t look at it like our life has hardship. We’re a military family … this is just what we do.”
Duracell is donating $100,000 to the USO Transition 360 Alliance to support the Comfort Crew for Military Kids, which helps children deal with their parents’ deployment and other issues that come up when you're part of a military family.
More from the USO
Mar 8, 2018
These 9 World-Famous Women are an Integral Part of USO History
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re looking back at some of the famous females who have helped shape the history of the USO. From World War II to today, these nine women are just a few of the many who have traveled near and far to entertain service members at home and abroad.