We’re counting down to Veterans Day 2016, highlighting one USO initiative each day that keeps service members connected to family, home and country. It’s all part of how the USO stands behind service members and their families as the Force Behind the Forces.
Nov. 1: USO Military Family Programs
In honor Military Family Appreciation month, the USO is highlighting a few of our dozens of programs supporting military families through every step of their journey in the military, including deployments, reassignments and transition to civilian life. These are both programs in the USO Transition 360 Alliance and grassroots offerings from our center locations.
The USO partners with the Stronger Families to bring the organization’s Oxygen Seminars to military couples, helping them strengthen their relationships while working on tough issues in a fun and nonthreatening environment. Couples learn to improve their communication, better understand each other’s needs and find renewed hope.
In partnership with the What to Expect Foundation, the USO hosts baby showers for military moms-to-be around the globe. Each shower includes a question-and-answer session with Heidi Murkoff, the best-selling author of the “What to Expect” book series, and features traditional baby shower activities. The program has provided a touch of home for more than 3,600 military spouses and expectant active-duty mothers to date.
USO Operation That’s My Dress provides thousands of new gowns and dresses to teenage military dependents, female service members and military spouses from international designer Sherri Hill and other notable fashion designers just in time for the homecoming and prom seasons, military balls and the holidays.
Nov. 2: Support the Mission Through USO Wishbook
Found at usowishbook.org, the USO’s online alternative giving catalog offers the public a way to support America’s service members and their families by purchasing symbolic gifts for friends and loved ones. The most popular gifts are phone calls home, comfort food packages and long-distance bedtime stories.
Nov. 3: Roadtrip Nation Documentary: “The Next Mission” on PBS
The USO partnered with Roadtrip Nation to send three transitioning service members on an unforgettable road trip across the country to discover their futures after service. During the journey, the trio interviewed fellow veterans who’ve tackled similar challenges and found fulfilling civilian careers. Their experience was captured in the documentary film “The Next Mission,” which premieres online Nov. 3 and will begin broadcasting on public television stations across the country this week.
Nov. 4: The USO Transition 360 Alliance
Launched in May 2015, the USO Transition 360 Alliance leverages the USO’s global resources and the programmatic experience of the program partners specializing in military-to-civilian transitions to provide essential services to help troops and families navigate the transition process.
Nov. 5: USO Entertainment Tours
Since 1941, USO entertainment has given our military a truly unique experience. When service members come off the front lines or try to relax after a stressful day, going to a USO show or a meet-and-greet with an entertainer they love gives them the connection to home that they crave. This week, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are on a USO tour to boost morale for countless service members and their families in Italy and the United Kingdom.
Nov. 6: The NFL’s Salute to Service
The NFL’s Salute to Service is the league’s military appreciation platform. It highlights and financially supports three nonprofits, including the USO, and features a slate of games throughout November where NFL teams wear special uniforms to honor the military. The NFL and USO first joined forces in 1966 when NFL coaches and players began participating in USO tours. Now, the NFL and USO are involved in activities year-round, including recent events at the Super Bowl in San Francisco and in Denver.
Nov. 7: “USO – For the Troops” Film on PBS
Airing nationally on Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. EDT, “USO – For the Troops” is a PBS documentary made possible by Johnson & Johnson that celebrates the nonprofit’s 75th anniversary and tells its story against the backdrop of a recent USO tour that spanned seven countries in eight days. Watch the documentary to see how the USO brings entertainment and a piece of home to active duty service members around the world.
Nov. 8: 75 Years with Coca-Cola
Together since the USO was established in 1941, The Coca-Cola Company and the USO have kept service members and military families refreshed throughout their journey. In addition to supporting military personnel through financial and in-kind product assistance, Coca-Cola supports the development of USO programs. For the seventh year, Coca-Cola employees will join during Veterans Day week to assemble 10,000 care packages that the USO will deliver to service members overseas.
Nov. 9: Baskin-Robbins Promotion Supports the USO
Baskin-Robbins has pledged that 11 cents from every ice cream scoop sold at its locations nationwide on Veterans Day will go to the USO. Baskin-Robbins is also celebrating the military community with the return of First Class Camouflage as its November flavor of the month. First Class Camouflage features chocolate, salty caramel and cake-flavored ice cream, which features the classic military colors of green, brown and tan.
Nov. 10: How the USO is Serving Millions Around the Globe
The USO delivers on its mission each day through more than 180 locations around the world. On Nov. 10, the USO will celebrate the grand opening of its new center on Joint Base San Antonio. Service members and military families visit USO centers millions of times each year.
Nov. 11: Meet the Faces Behind the Force
“The Force” of the USO is made up of more than 30,000 volunteers who are committed to connecting service members to the things they hold dear. On Veterans Day, the USO will celebrate 12 stories of veterans who served in our nation’s military and continue their service today as USO volunteers.
You can send a message of support and thanks directly to service members via the USO’s Campaign to Connect. Your messages will appear on screens at USO locations around the world.