By USO Staff

When you turn 75, it’s OK to take a moment to celebrate.

To mark its 75th anniversary, the USO welcomed tour veterans, Medal of Honor recipients, military leaders, corporate partners and members of the USO Congressional Caucus to a reception at The Hay-Adams, a historic hotel and Washington, D.C., landmark.

Dr. Jill Biden delivered remarks to kick off the evening and Tina Tchen, first lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, read a letter from President Barack Obama honoring the USO on its anniversary.

Actor Dennis Haysbert hosted the evening’s festivities and shared a few anecdotes from his USO tour experiences before introducing Retired Army Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., the chairman of the USO Board of Governors. Casey, the 36th Army Chief of Staff, recognized Bob Hope’s daughter, Linda, and thanked her for her family’s continued commitment to the organization.

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Dr. Jill Biden speaks at the USO’s 75th Anniversary Reception.

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Actor Dennis Haysbert, Chairman of the USO Board of Governors Retired Army Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., USO CEO and President J.D. Crouch II and Dr. Jill Biden listen to speeches.

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Justin Wright and Andrew Yavocone of the band Interstate 10 perform.

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Dennis Haysbert speaks at the USO’s 75th Anniversary Reception.

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“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek offers a toast to the USO.

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Carla Hall, chef and co-host of ABC’s “The Chew,” and artist Lila Asher, also a WWII-era USO volunteer, listen to speeches.

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Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivers his remarks.

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Craig Morgan performs at the USO’s 75th Anniversary Reception.

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Dennis Haysbert speaks at the USO’s 75th Anniversary Reception.

“We will never forget your dad and the way he boosted the morale of American service members around the world and brought those brave men and women home to us by televising his USO tours,” Casey said.

USO CEO and President J.D. Crouch II and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered heartfelt remarks before “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek talked about connecting with service members in isolated locations during his 13 USO tours.

Haysbert introduced the band Interstate 10, which performed “Hometown Hero,” a song bandmates Justin Wright and Andrew Yacovone wrote while deployed to Afghanistan in 2014. The duo, both active-duty soldiers and Army Rangers, is set to deploy to Afghanistan soon.

Five-time USO tour veteran Craig Morgan sang for the crowd of more than 300 while fellow tour veterans Kellie Pickler, Kyle Jacobs and Carla Hall looked on.

During his remarks, Crouch highlighted the USO’s 75-year history mission of connecting service members and military families to the people and places they love. The organization is inviting all Americans to get involved with its effort to send 1 million messages of support to our men and women in uniform.

“This year, the USO is on a mission of connection, but we can’t do it alone,” said. “All Americans can show their support to our military. These are our neighbors. They are our friends, our relatives. And for service members who we’ll never meet, we can do that by forming a closer connection to them as they serve the nation.”

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.