One of the popular requests for the USO2Go program is the athletic kit, which features recreational activity equipment including a putting green and portable putting set, volley ball and badminton set, horseshoes, frisbees, footballs, flag football belts, nerf balls, soccer balls and a magnetic dart board. Individual USO Centers often augment those offerings with sports equipment of their own. And sometimes they get really creative!
Camp Buehring, for example, recently had NASCAR-themed event inspired by the recent race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Right before the race began, troops signed up on the “Caution Lap Pool” to guess when the first five cautions would occur. Winners won prizes if they guessed correctly.
They also held their own race, right inside the USO! Troops competed against each other by racing remote-controlled cars throughout the cafe on a 550 cord race track. How cool is that? As one duty manager said, “Troops and staff had a blast at this event!”
[caption id=“attachment_1634” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“It’s not as easy as it looks! Just because they’re lacking a full-size track doesn’t mean Troops have any less of a good time racing remote-controlled cars through the cafe at USO Camp Buehring.”][/caption]
Over at the USO at Ali Al Salem, it was the Great American Pastime that brought together Troops. Staff and volunteers there hosted a day of festivities last week to say goodbye to the old command cell and welcome the new command cell. The events kicked off with a good old game of softball, with the old command cell winning the game 22 to 17. "Take me out to the ballgame" now has a whole new meaning!
[caption id=“attachment_1635” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“A serviceman knocks it out of the proverbial park, as the old and new command hit the diamond at USO Ali Al Salem. (USO Photo by Duane DeVorak)”][/caption]
[caption id=“attachment_1636” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“Teammates cheer a running back to home base, as the old command cell defeated the new in a game of softball. (USO Photo by Duane DeVorak)”][/caption]
Finally, it’s not our story, but we think it’s a good one anyway. A group of Canadian and American hockey players from the NHL recently travelled to Afghanistan for a game of street hockey. And they brought along the Stanley Cup!
This friendly rivals have been playing a series of exhibition games organized by the Canadian government. Players past and present played alongside Troops in Kandahar, among other locations. This is the fourth time the Stanley Cup has visited the Persian Gulf. Keep updated with posts on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ website and take a moment to listen to a report from NPR.
[caption id=“attachment_1638” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“With Team Canada’s Lt. Cmdr. Lorne Hartwell (Royal Canadian Navy) close on his heels, Sgt. Francisco N. Aponte of the Kandahar Hawks (a maintenance noncommissioned officer with the 143d Expeditionary Sustainment Command) chases after the ball in a ball-hockey game against Team Canada March 4. Team Canada, comprised mostly of former National Hockey League players, visited Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, on a morale trip for troops. (Army photo by PFC Elisebet Freeburg)”][/caption]
More from the USO
May 15, 2017
USO Operation Birthday Cake Brings the Party to Service Members in Japan
When Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffrey Lee received an urgent call to head to his work station one morning, he thought there was something seriously wrong, but there was no emergency. Instead, he walked into his own surprise birthday celebration, courtesy of his wife, USO Yokosuka and the Operation Birthday Cake Program.
May 13, 2017
'I'll Never Forget It": Why a USO Fourth of July T-shirt Can Mean So Much
Years ago, I wore my USO T-shirt to a Houston Astros game. Someone stopped me and said, “Thank you, sir.” I turned to see a man holding his young son by the hand. He said he was active duty, leaving soon for Afghanistan.
May 10, 2017
#Flex4Forces and Show Your Strength on Social Media
The USO invites you to get involved in our exciting new digital campaign, #Flex4Forces! The campaign calls on Americans to show their strength as a Force Behind the Forces by striking a biceps flex in support of our nation’s military and sharing it on social media.