The USO is a cause that is very close to my heart. Most of the time when people think of the USO, they think of Bob Hope or celebrities touring for troops overseas. But the USO does so much more for service members and their families. The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. The USO is not a federal agency and relies almost completely on volunteers, like me. You can see all they do at uso.org.
While I was deployed, the USO provided a place where I could grab a book to read, watch a movie, spend time with Donald in Baghram and call home. I remember redeploying through the El Paso airport. It was overwhelming for me to sit and have strangers stare at me in uniform while still processing coming home. I went to the USO. It is hard to explain how much it meant in that moment to have someone smile, give me a cup of coffee and a quiet space to just relax until my flight.
Every week I spend time volunteering at the USO on Fort Stewart. Sometimes I help Soldiers record themselves reading stories to their kids who are far away. Sometimes I chat with them about home. Sometimes I just clean and make sure they have a quiet place to relax or study. It is probably the most valuable time in my week.
All of the above and more is why this year for my birthday I am asking for my friends and family to donate to the USO instead of getting me a card or gift. I will be turning 36 and would like to raise $10 for every year old I am by September 21. This money will help the USO continue to do the amazing things it does for our Armed Services and their family members. Every dollar really does help us serve those who serve our country.
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