USO Centers are located around the world, serving Troops and their families in over 140 locations. But is that enough? We recently asked ourselves, Is there a location not being served? Where can the USO boldly go?
One word: Space. How illogical not to serve those who serve us, even at an intergalactic level, we thought. That’s why we’re proud to announce two new initiatives: the building of a USO Center on the International Space Station (ISS) and the expansion of our USO2Go program to include USO2GO: Lunar Module.
NASA and the U.S. Military have a long history, with military training being one of the surest ways to get to pilot a spacecraft. Active duty military are some of the top recruits to the astronaut program. So it just made sense to extend our reach into space.
[caption id=“attachment_1705” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“The new USO Center on the International Space Station will feature all the comforts of home, including iPod equipped space helmets.”][/caption]
Admiral Ackbar - current commander of the ISS - is thrilled at the prospect of a USO Center on board: “Many of our crew members are stuck all today conducting science experiments. The chance to relax with the comforts of home - albeit in a zero gravity environment - is a huge morale booster. We especially like that the USO will stock butter pecan - in addition to the traditional Neapolitan flavor - of Space Ice Cream.”
When deciding to expand our programs and services we consulted numerous experts, including world-renowned physician Dr. McCoy, who had this to say about the importance of serving every individual possible: “In this galaxy there’s a mathematical probability of three million Earth-type planets. And in the universe, three million million galaxies like this. And in all that, and perhaps more…only one of each of us.”
[caption id=“attachment_1709” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“USO2GO: Lunar Module ensures that when we colonize the moon in the future, inhabitants will have essential things like Guitar Hero and snacks.”][/caption]
General Grievous said he’d been asking for something like this for the astronauts and crew of the ISS ever since he first visited a USO Center in the 1970s while stationed in Southeast Asia. "I feel like I’ve been shouting about this from the rooftops forever,“ explained the General. "But, as they say, in space, no one can hear you scream.”
Standard offerings like the USO Care Package will also be available to the men and women of the ISS and - eventually - the moon. USO Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications John Hanson is thrilled at the prospect of serving more people with these renowned USO programs. "I just hope that our space program can - like other offerings from the USO - live long and prosper. We do rely on the generosity of individual donors to provide land- and space-based support, unlike Astronaut Barbie, who completely sold out.“
[caption id="attachment_1708” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“Astronauts unload boxes of care packages for the crew onboard. Crossword puzzles and Sudoku books can go a long way to combating space-related boredom.”][/caption]
Both programs are set to debut in December of 2012 or - as the Mayans call it - “the end of days.” We have no doubt that these programs will come to be enjoyed by tens, if not dozens, of former active duty military and the occasional space chimp. Admiral Ackbar summed it up best when he said, “This is one small step for the ISS and the moon, and one giant leap for the USO.”
So say we all. So say we all.
More from the USO
Nov 16, 2016
‘You Just Feel at Peace’: How USO North Carolina - Jacksonville’s Beirut Room Serves as a Space for Reflection and Healing
In light of the deep impact the 1983 Beirut bombing had on the Jacksonville community over the years, the USO center, with help from Lowe’s Home Improvement, created a special room in its center to honor the victims, survivors and family members affected by the bombing. The space – known as the “Beirut Room” by center staff and volunteers – features a granite wall monument, stained glass angels and several other photos and mementos memorializing those killed in the bombing.
Nov 16, 2016
USO Opens Wellness Focused Center on Joint Base San Antonio
After 75 years of welcoming service members home, the USO received a homecoming of its own. After a grand opening ceremony on Nov. 10, USO San Antonio staff and volunteers officially welcomed guests into the new, state-of-the-art USO San Antonio center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.