The USO said goodbye to one of its biggest champions last week when Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey retired after 41 years of service.
The Army general served a pair of two-year stints as the highest ranking officer in the military and went on several USO Chairman’s Tours during that assignment, bringing celebrities overseas during the winter holidays to lift the spirits of deployed troops. Dempsey's final USO tour in December visited five countries in six days and included country star Kellie Pickler, comedian Rob Riggle, “Glee” co-star Dianna Agron, former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, “Suits” co-star Meghan Markle and Washington Nationals pitcher Doug Fister.
“In my dealings with the USO over the past few years, spearheading tours around the globe, I can confidently say that the USO is as helpful and comforting today as it was back [when I joined the Army],” Dempsey said at the time.
Dempsey also gave some of the most memorable speeches at recent USO galas, including a story relating how a USO volunteer helped him find his first duty station in Germany in 1970s and the memorable Irish Ditty he sang at last year’s event.
More from the USO
Oct 16, 2018
He Stays at Home With Their Two Boys While She Serves in Afghanistan
Former Air Force Major Brad Eychner has no illusions about his important role as a stay-at-home dad and military spouse. Learn how he came into this role and how he takes care of their two young boys while his wife is deployed.
Oct 12, 2018
7 Things to Cheer On The Navy’s Birthday
October 13 is the U.S. Navy’s 243rd birthday! Originally established during the Revolutionary War in 1775, the Navy has played a central role throughout history and today, it continues its mission of maintaining the freedom of the seas. Here are seven reasons to cheer the Navy’s birthday!