By USO Staff
Can you believe Bob Hope performed his first USO Show at California’s March Field in 1941? The words “thank you” are simply not enough when we talk about all he did for the troops and the USO.
Hope toured with the USO for nearly five decades after that first show, culminating in his final USO tour overseas in December 1990, when he brought laughter and Christmas cheer to troops participating in Operation Desert Shield in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
In 1997, the USO successfully worked with Congress to designate Bob Hope the first honorary veteran of the U.S. armed forces. And that same year - at what was then known as the USO Holiday Gala - we unveiled the “Spirit of Hope” Award. It is a portrait bas-relief of Bob Hope, created by St. Louis sculptor Don F. Wiegand and Michael Fagin a major donor to the USO and carries on Hope’s legacy to this day.
The USO continues to lift the moral of the troops and their families to this very day and - even as we reflect back at the incredible legacy of supporters like Bob Hope - look forward to all that we’ll do in the future.
More Stories Like This
A New Look at Bob Hope: 11 Rare Photos from the USO Archives
Get to know the legendary Bob Hope and his 50 years of work with the USO entertaining troops through these rare 11 photos from the USO archives.
Veterans Share Their Memories of Bob Hope USO Christmas Shows
Bob Hope entertained Americans for decades, but his most impactful shows were for soldiers deployed overseas during the holidays.
Bob Hope USO Shows: The One-Man Morale Machine
Decades after the USO’s creation, Hope is still legendary, thanks to the USO shows he started performing during World War II at a time when international phone calls home were impossible and Internet access wasn’t even a concept.
More from the USO
Jan 14, 2022
How USO Volunteers Give More Than Thanks Through Service to the Military
The selfless dedication of our USO volunteers ensures that the USO can carry out its mission of supporting service members at their families at more than 250 locations around the globe. Here are just a few stories of service, showing how USO volunteers Give More Than Thanks through active support of the U.S. military.