The USO Serves Up Warmth and Gratitude to Soldiers Stationed in Poland During the Holiday Season

By Spc. Trevares Johnson

Amid chilly weather and rigorous military training in Eastern Europe, the USO lived up to its slogan “For the people who serve” by bringing a touch of warmth and gratitude to soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 40th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. On a crisp morning in Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, the USO treated these dedicated soldiers to a delightful surprise – warm donuts and hot chocolate.

The USO consistently goes the extra mile to lift the spirits of the people who serve, and this recent gesture was no exception. Kate Colley, the center operations manager for the USO Drawsko Pomorskie Center, expressed the USO’s dedication to those stationed in Eastern Europe in support of our NATO allies.

Photo credit DVIDS/Spc. Trevares Johnson

Hot chocolate and warm donuts may seem like a simple gesture to many, but it can mean a lot to soldiers dealing with the chilly climate in Eastern Europe.

“We’re here to make a difference in the lives of our military members, to show them how much their service means to us,” she said.

And although warm donuts and hot chocolate might seem like a relatively small gesture, when you’re serving on the cold front lines of Eastern Europe, it is small moments like these that can make all the difference.

Amidst the puffs of breath in the cold air, Pvt. Tayvean Cannon, a petroleum supply specialist assigned to the “Battering Rams” battalion, was one of the soldiers who welcomed the warmth of the USO’s support. With a grateful smile, he shared his thoughts on the surprise treat.

It’s cold out here, and this hot chocolate and donuts are just what we needed. It’s great to know that the USO can come to support us like this,” Tayvean said, highlighting the impact of the USO’s efforts.

In a deployment location of rigorous training and demanding duties, moments of respite like these provide service members with a much-needed opportunity to relax and connect with each other. It’s these simple yet significant gestures that remind the people who serve in the military that their sacrifice does not go unnoticed.

Photo credit DVIDS/Spc. Trevares Johnson

Soldiers deployed to Eastern Europe often have long days of rigorous training that leave them with limited ways to relax and connect with each other outside of their daily military duties.

Kate underscored the importance of what the USO brings to deployed service members worldwide.

“It’s not just about the hot chocolate and donuts; it’s about creating an atmosphere where our troops feel appreciated and supported,” she said, echoing the sentiments of the USO’s commitment in supporting the lives of service members.

As Tayvean and his fellow soldiers savored the warmth of hot chocolate and the sweetness of donuts, it was evident that the USO’s mission of providing a touch of home to military members during the holiday season resonated with them deeply. In the face of demanding training and unpredictable conditions, this small act of service served as a reminder that they are supported not only by their fellow soldiers, but also by the USO, which makes their sacrifices a little easier to bear.

Photo credit DVIDS/Spc. Joshua Taeckens

Creating an atmosphere where soldiers can feel appreciated and supported is essential for soldiers deployed overseas near combat zones.

For the USO, this mission is a labor of love.

“We’re committed to being there for our service members, wherever they are, and we’ll keep working tirelessly to make their lives a bit brighter,” Kate said.

And thanks to the backing of the American people, the USO will continue to support and boost the morale of service members stationed in Eastern Europe as they support our NATO allies amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

-This story was originally published on It has been edited for

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Every day, America’s service members selflessly put their lives on the line to keep us safe and free. Please take a moment to let our troops know how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice.


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