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.
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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.
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About Our USO Centers
Our USO centers around the world provide many different versions of the same thing – a place to relax and connect while off duty. We offer free internet connections, a place to relax, watch a movie or read a book. Troops can even call home from many of our centers.