By Eric Brandner

The best military stories come up when you walk into one of our centers and start talking to people.

So for the next six months, that’s what we’re going to do.

To mark the USO’s 75th anniversary, we’re heading out on a road trip we’re calling USO Route 75. And we want to bring you along. (Well, we’ll bring you along virtually. We may have overpacked our Jeep™.)

Starting Feb. 5, you can follow this map and our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds as we drive around America to learn more about the USO, explore issues like the military-civilian drift and military transition and try to answer these questions:

We’re going to meet a lot of people we don’t expect. What will their stories be?

Like any reporting trip, we have some concrete goals. (Because who’s driving from Phoenix to El Paso, Texas, just to say hi?) But our favorite stories usually come up when we’re reporting on other things. Like the time we met USO Fort Drum volunteers who regularly Febreezed sweaty service members returning from Afghanistan in a hangar moments before they reunited with their families.

So while we can guarantee daily dispatches while we’re on the road – including a flurry of Tweets, a travelogue on and our best shots on Instagram – we won’t always know what they’re going to be about ahead of time. And given our experience, that’s a really good thing.

What do you want to know about the military?

We could talk all day about what the USO does. It’s a big part of our jobs, and it’s pretty easy to do when you have so many selfless volunteers working to make the lives of others better. But this road trip is a chance to tackle big topics, too. We’ll be looking at several angles of military transition, including how service members and military families handle the assimilation into a society that has trouble understanding what they’ve sacrificed.

So if you have a question, email us at [email protected] or send it to us on Facebook or Twitter and be sure to tag it #USOroute75.

Will our waistlines be killed with kindness?

USO centers are famous for feeding their guests. Smiling volunteers point visitors to the snacks and coffee before they’ve finished signing their names in our guest books. That coffee, those protein bars and those Chick-fil-A sandwiches (we’re looking at you, USO of Georgia) are huge pick-me-ups and great budget preservers for military families.

But our band of storytellers will be spending roughly five hours a day in a car. How are we going to get through the trip – or even one leg of it – without packing on 10 pounds? To head this off, we put out a call to some overseas USO centers we can’t reach in our Jeep™, and they returned with some great road workout plans. We’ll incorporate those throughout the trip and will post the results so you can follow along (and try them out, too).

Thanks, Jeep™.

OK, so that’s not a question. But you don’t get to do reporting trips like this without a backer, and Jeep™ is ours.

As part of their 2016 partnership with the USO, Jeep™ is donating two vehicles – including a 2016 Jeep™ Wrangler Unlimited 75th Anniversary Edition – that we’ll be driving along USO Route 75.

If you see us on the road, take a photo, hashtag it #USORoute75 and post it on social media. We’ll keep an eye out for you.

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.