Video by Sandi Moynihan and Eric Brandner

CLARKSVILLE, Tennessee—Tonya Wacker didn’t expect to end up in tears during a USO holiday hospital visit last December. Then she walked into the injured soldier’s room.

“He said, ‘You know, I feel like I’m losing everything,’” Wacker said. “So I said, ‘Well, you know we have a new program, a military transition program’… and he was really excited.”

Wacker, the Fort Campbell USO RP/6 site manager, later offered the soldier a phone to call home and talk to his family.

The solider politely refused.

“He said, ‘I don’t need a phone … the USO is my family,’” Wacker said.

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.