By Sandi Moynihan and Chad Stewart

This page was updated on September 21, 2017 at 012:49 p.m. EST.

With the military rapidly mobilizing to assist with Hurricane Irma relief efforts, the USO is ready to support service members before, during and after they deploy throughout the Caribbean, Florida and along the Atlantic Coast.

Mobile USO Team Steps Up After Irma

After Irma made landfall in Florida, the Mobile USO Program team prepared and deployed two units — the USO RV and our second “Big Blue” USO Mobile Center — to the National Guard Armory in Miramar, Fla. to deliver hygiene kits, snack packs, refreshment, relaxation and connectivity to service members assisting in the relief effort.

Additionally, the USO of North Carolina relocated their mobile unit to Florida to supplement the Mobile USO team’s vehicles and hand out sunscreen, bug spray and lip balm in Miramar, Homestead Air Reserve Base and areas near the Florida Keys. The USO of North Carolina also deployed its pick-up truck to Florida to augment USO service delivery, particularly in the Florida Keys.

As of Thursday, all Mobile USO Program and USO of North Carolina units except the pick-up truck have completed their mission and are en-route to their points of origin or other locations.

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Army Spc. Sheila Velez packs as more than 130 New Jersey Army National Guard soldiers prepare to deploy to support the Florida National Guard in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.

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Supplies are prepared in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.

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Kevin Robarge, head of operations at U.S. Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, provides information to leadership concerning Hurricane Irma.

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Equipment, military members and the medical evacuation arrive in St. Croix in Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane, inflicted catastrophic damage to the neighboring island of St. Thomas earlier in the week.

USO Centers Provide Continued Support

Several USO locations throughout Florida are also providing support to thousands of service members moving through their respective areas.

According to Executive Director Mike O’Brien, the Greater Jacksonville Area USO delivered 1,000 hygiene kits, as well as water, snacks, suntan lotion and bug spray, to service members moving through Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Fla. The USO location also helped facilitate a shipment of of personal care and snack items, donated by USAA, to Camp Blanding for service members to enjoy.

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The Greater Jacksonville Florida Area USO team preps care package supplies to hand out to service members supporting Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

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Water sits ready to be delivered to service members supporting Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

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Water sits ready to be delivered to service members supporting Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

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The Greater Jacksonville Florida Area USO team preps care package supplies to hand out to service members supporting Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

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Supplies sit ready to be delivered to service members supporting Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

Last weekend at Eglin Air Force Base, the USO of Northwest Florida hosted a picnic for roughly thirty military families who evacuated to the area from Naval Air Station Key West.

USO Regional Vice President Jeff Hill notes that other USO locations throughout South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia are also supporting service members deployed to the disaster zone.

In South Carolina, 1,000 care packages, along with snacks and water were picked up by National Guard personnel who are either positioned to on the coast or headed south to provide relief. The team has also sent additional items to Camp Blanding, Fla., to provide continual support to National Guard units currently deployed to the area.

Additionally, the USO of North Carolina has prepared 5,000 travel kits and is currently waiting orders to send the supplies to military staging locations as needed.

Hill also said that the USO will continue its ongoing support of military members currently serving in support of Harvey relief efforts as long as its services are needed.

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.