By Sandi Gohn
The military trains for everything.
From high-stress combat to natural disaster response, U.S. service members are taught to anticipate the unexpected so they can handle difficult or sensitive missions – like the current situation in Afghanistan – with expertise.
U.S. Service Members Deploy to Afghanistan to Assist in Evacuations
On Aug. 16, the Taliban took control of the Southwest Asian nation, prompting an expedited evacuation of U.S., allied and Afghan partners from the country.
To support this large-scale departure via Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, President Joe Biden has authorized roughly 6,000 U.S. troops to deploy to Afghanistan to assist in the evacuation.
The U.S. military is rapidly deploying service members to Afghanistan and many USO locations are working around the clock to support them as they head into the country. The USO’s global network of centers is uniquely positioned to respond swiftly when service members are deployed with little to no notice, and can provide comforts like care packages, hygiene items, hot meals and entertainment to those headed into harm’s way.
As of Aug. 17, Department of Defense (DOD) officials said there were 4,000 U.S. service members on the ground in Kabul, with more likely on the way. Currently, the U.S. military has worked with Turkish and Afghan forces to secure the airport and has reopened it to military and limited commercial flights.
As thousands of people flee the nation – the DOD says it aims to have the capacity to fly roughly 5,000 to 9,000 people out of Afghanistan every day. While this extremely challenging operation is ongoing, U.S. service members will be on the ground, ensuring their safety.
As They Rapidly Deploy, Service Members Receive USO Support
When U.S. service members first deployed to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago, the USO was ready to support them as they headed into harm’s way, thanks to generous donors who support our nonprofit mission. Now – two decades later and amidst rapidly evolving circumstances on the ground – the USO’s dedication to U.S. Armed Forces deploying to Afghanistan remains the same.
Currently, the USO is mobilizing to support troops as they deploy to Afghanistan by providing personal care items, access to internet and support to temporary housing units. Staff is also busy prepping USO2GO kits filled with snacks, toiletries and other necessities. USO locations along the deployment route are stocking up with beverages, snacks and other refreshments to fuel service members along their journey to Afghanistan.
All of this important work is possible thanks to the generous and continued support of dedicated donors – without them, the USO simply wouldn’t be able to provide this rapid support to thousands of deploying troops.
It’s uncertain how this rapidly changing situation will continue to impact our service members and military bases in the coming days, but the USO will be there to support them every step of the way. In times of crisis and uncertainty, our USO locations are a source of comfort and a place where service members can find vital resources and connection to home.
When their mission is complete, the USO will be there too – ready to welcome them home.
More Stories Like This
5 Ways You Can Support the Troops in Times of Conflict
When tensions rise due to conflict, Americans all around the country are asking one thing: what can we do to support the troops?
‘I Don’t Know What to Say But Thank You’: Troops Deploying to Afghanistan and Haiti Bolstered by USO
Working non-stop over a 48-hour period, USO staff and volunteers handed out over 10,000 individually-wrapped snacks and 1,000 hygiene kits – to include food, water and entertainment items – to deploying service members headed to Afghanistan and Haiti.
More from the USO
Sep 17, 2021
What is the Air Force Known for in the Modern Military World?
From breaking the sound barrier to hunting hurricanes, today’s U.S. Air Force has a long and proud history of military power and accomplishments. Here are eight facts about Air Force history and the role the branch plays today.
Sep 16, 2021
What is the Black and White Flag Flown on POW/MIA Recognition Day?
The POW/MIA flag, a solemn black-and-white banner, stands as a tribute to the troops who fought in Vietnam and remain missing or unaccounted for, as well as all missing service personnel who have not yet been returned to American soil. Typically, it is flown POW/MIA Recognition Day on the third Friday in September, but in some locations, it is displayed all year-round.
Sep 15, 2021
Netflix Celebrity Chefs Prue Leith and Jacques Torres Bring the Joy of Baking to Military Families
Netflix celebrity chefs Jacques Torres of “Nailed It!” and Prue Leith of “The Great British Baking Show” joined the USO and American military families all around the world to share in the joy of baking during a USO MVP event.