By Barry Morris
Although thousands of service members travel home for the holidays every year, there are many who remain behind at military installations due to assigned duties, personal circumstances or other reasons.
It can be hard for these dedicated service members to stay behind and continue answering the call to serve during this time of year, which is why the USO makes a special point to host festive events and meals to make them feel at home.
Delivering Holiday Cheer for Service Members Throughout the Southeastern U.S.
At USO centers and outreach locations on military training sites throughout the Southeastern United States, USO staff and volunteers work with local military installation leadership to deliver holiday treats – like hot chocolate, stockings stuffed with holiday goodies, delicious meals and plenty of joyous, holiday cheer – to service members who remain on duty.
Here’s a look at just some of the festivities that took place this year:
Last week, young sailors and Marines in the barracks at Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., enjoyed a holiday weekend celebration of sandwiches, shuffleboard, pizza, pool, burgers and bingo at their local USO.
Further east, sailors on security duty at Naval Station Mayport near Jacksonville received a special visit and holiday meal from Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
In North Carolina, over 600 Marines conducting initial combat training at Camp Geiger got a special visit from the USO Southeast’s Mobile vehicle, which delivered hot chocolate, holiday cookies and stockings stuffed with treats.
Over in Fort Bragg, service members received energy drinks, snacks and stockings filled with holiday treats and goodies.
Further south, in Fort Jackson, S.C., roughly 260 service members enjoyed a week of holiday festivities filled with outdoor games, snacks and lunch.
Soldiers at Fort Stewart, Ga., received holiday stockings and barracks bags filled with snacks and other items, while soldiers at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., were served a holiday feast graciously provided by the Gary Sinise Foundation.
Further north, in Norfolk, Va., sailors serving aboard the USS Laboon received USO goodie bags filled with holiday treats.
At Fort Campbell, soldiers enjoyed a home-cooked holiday meal prepared by USO volunteers and staff.
The USO – with the help of volunteers, donors and partners – strengthens our military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, especially during the holiday season. Although our service members may be away from home for the holidays, the USO brings a little of home to them.
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