Ahead of the Inauguration, National Guard Troops in D.C. Can Lean on USO

By Sandi Gohn

Thousands of members of the National Guard have been deployed to Washington, D.C., to assist the federal and local authorities tasked with planning and coordinating the 59th presidential inauguration on Jan. 20. The Secret Service, Capitol Police and U.S. Park Police requested the National Guard’s assistance.

As of Jan. 14, there were roughly 7,000 National Guard members in D.C. from 14 states and the District of Columbia.

“The National Guard has a long and proud history of inauguration support,” said Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau. “The forefathers of today’s National Guard were present for the inauguration of George Washington, and we have been part of every inauguration since.”

As members of the National Guard answer the call of duty in our nation’s capital in the coming days, the USO is there to strengthen and support them as they accomplish their mission.

The USO Supports the National Guard Members in D.C.

Supporting service members whenever and wherever they need it most is what the USO does best, and the activation of the National Guard ahead of the inauguration is no exception.

Photo credit USO

Service members pose for a photo after receiving refreshments from the USO.

Late last week, after receiving a request for support from the National Guard, the USO quickly stocked, staffed and deployed several of its Mobile USO vehicles to Washington, D.C., to provide classic USO services such as snacks and drinks to refuel with, free Wi-Fi to check in with loved ones and a relaxing place to recharge at military staging locations in the region. Many times, during rapid deployment situations like this, service members have very little time to plan or pack, making the sight of a Mobile USO unit or a smiling USO staffer handing out snacks or personal care items a particularly welcome sight.

Mobile USO Units in the D.C. Area

As of Jan. 14, the USO had three Mobile Units on the ground in the D.C. area. Acting as “USO centers on wheels,” Mobile USOs can travel to wherever service members are located, bringing a touch of home and a sense of normalcy to them, no matter their location.

Photo credit USO

Service members stop by a Mobile USO unit at a military staging location in Washington, D.C.

In addition to offering classic USO amenities like Wi-Fi, gaming and other forms of entertainment, Mobile USO’s are also stocked with snacks, water and sports drinks to keep service members properly fueled and hydrated. Mobile USOs also often host small morale-boosting events so service members can take a short break between their demanding shifts.

Handing out Care Packages and Touch of Home

In addition to the support offered by Mobile USO units, USO staff members on the ground have been handing out refreshments and supplies, like USO Care Packages, to service members working in the area.

Photo credit USO

A service member picks up a USO Care Package.

No matter where their mission takes them, the USO is always ready to jump in and serve our members of the military.

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