From staff reports

Many service members can’t come home for the holidays. So we went to them.

The USO’s Holidays for Heroes program – made possible by FedEx – is supporting thousands of service members deployed to dangerous locations around Southwest Asia. The program is delivering gifts and holiday cheer to troops who can’t go home for Christmas at 10 isolated locations in the Middle East.

“Our Holidays for Heroes outreach program truly is a blessing,” said Bruce Burda, USO Regional Vice President for Southwest Asia. “It gives the USO a chance to really connect our service members with family and loved ones back home during a special time of the year while reminding them that our support is made possible only because we have great family and individual donors and incredible corporate partners who generously support us, like FedEx, which made this year’s Holidays for Heroes possible.“

“Our staffs are working hard to reach as many service members as possible to bring a little cheer from home to thank them for their service and sacrifices.”

The USO Holidays for Heroes program keeps service members connected to home, no matter how far away they may be. Around 300 FedEx volunteers stuffed 6,000 care packages and 75 holiday care packages earlier this year to send to service members in remote locations. The packages were then shipped from Memphis, Tennessee, to the Middle East and are being delivered by the USO to 10 locations through Christmas Eve.

“While it is tough for service members to be away from family and friends this holiday season, support from the USO is a wonderful reminder how much the American people and corporate donors like FedEx truly care about the sacrifices they are making,” said Sara Lottie, USO Director of Operations for Southwest. “The USO is uniquely positioned to ensure service members stay connected to family, home and country and the 2016 Holidays for Heroes program is a great example of how the USO continues to remain always by their side.”