Video by Zach Zimmerman
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan— Military children are notoriously resilient, often adjusting to major life changes, like changing schools and making new friends, with a sunny outlook.
“They’re constantly starting over,” said Tiffany Scott, a military spouse, mother and the former field programs manager at USO Yokota.
Despite their optimistic disposition, Emily Neidigh, a military spouse and mom, acknowledges that it can be a challenging for military children, including hers, to find meaningful ways to stay connected to family and old friends.
That’s exactly why, in 2017, the USO launched the Read2Connect Program – part of the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program – to help military children stay in touch with friends and family around the world through reading.
Sign up for our emails to stay connected to the USO and the troops we serve.
The program provides military children with an opportunity to record themselves reading a book of their choice aloud to their family or friends. Then, the recording is packed with a handwritten note and mailed to the loved one so they can watch their friend or relative read them a story.
“Any opportunity that they have to see their [friends’] faces, to interact, even if its over a screen with friends they’ve made in other places, I think that it helps,” Neidigh said.
- USO Senior Multimedia Journalist Joseph A. Lee and USO Content Strategy Manager Sandi Moynihan contributed to this report.
More from the USO
Dec 23, 2019
Reading 'The Night Before Christmas' in Afghanistan with the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program
Miles away from home and family, it can be difficult for deployed service members to celebrate the holidays. One service member in Afghanistan got into the spirit of the season through the USO's Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program, which he used to read the classic Christmas story, "The Night Before Christmas," to his children back home.