President Barack Obama Honors USO for 75 years of service to America's military with a letter of support
Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, USO 75th Honorary Committee co-chairs, alongside nearly 50 leaders of society, including heads of state, former senior military, CEOs, entertainers, sports legends, media and dignitaries, join the USO in a yearlong celebration forging new bonds between Americans and the military with #USOconnects
ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 4, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today marks the 75th anniversary of the USO, the military support nonprofit that has grown to embody the nation's commitment to keeping military service members connected to family, home and country throughout their service to the nation.
On February 4, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt led the founding of the United Service Organizations, a national organization dedicated to keeping service members connected to the people, places and things they were about to enter a war to protect. The USO quickly became an indispensable component of military service for generations of American men and women in uniform.
In a letter to the USO, President Barack Obama recognized the USO's essential contribution to our nation's service members.
"...the USO's dedication to those who risk their lives to protect our country embodies the spirit of service for which our Nation stands," Obama wrote. "Today more than 30,000 volunteers and millions of active supporters carry this legacy forward at USO centers across the globe, connecting members of our Armed Forces back to family, home and country - the very things they have sworn to defend and protect."
As the USO rededicates itself to the nation by forging new bonds between Americans and their military service members and families, it kicks off a year of celebration with the announcement of its 75th Anniversary Honorary Committee co-chaired by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The committee includes leaders of industry, entertainers and national leaders who have illustrated compassion, care and steadfast support for America's military community. Each has made personal sacrifices to help the USO further its vital mission of connection.
The Bush family has a distinguished record of supporting the military and the USO. The longstanding relationship dates back to 1942 when Prescott S. Bush, the father of George Herbert Walker Bush and grandfather of George W. Bush, became the organization's second campaign chairman. In 2013, the USO Warrior and Family Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, was dedicated in honor of Prescott Bush for his vision, leadership and extraordinary fundraising efforts.
"As commander in chief and through my most recent work with the Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative, it's an honor to recognize the hard work of the USO and their commitment to the service and sacrifice of our veterans and military families." President George W. Bush said. "As Americans it's our duty to serve those who volunteered to wear the uniform in defense of our nation. On behalf of my dad and my grandfather and my entire family, I congratulate the USO on this significant milestone."
For the full 75th Anniversary Honorary Committee click here.
From its humble beginnings of letter writing, sending care packages and staging USO Camp Shows, the USO has evolved to bring relaxation and entertainment to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, reservists and National Guardsmen where they need it most. In four regions – Europe, Pacific, Southwest Asia and the United States – our connectivity has expanded from phone cards and hard lines to our own private satellite network that allows service members to connect with their families. Some have even watched the births of their children from thousands of miles away. Three state-of-the-art Warrior Centers have been built in Europe and the United States to help our nation's wounded, ill and injured and their families and caregivers find their new normal. And in 2015, the USO announced its newest initiative, the USO Transition 360 Alliance, to help military personnel and their families successfully transition to civilian life after their service ends. The USO Transition 360 Alliance partners include the Comfort Crew for Military Kids, Hire Heroes USA, RP/6 and Stronger Families.
"Since 1941, many leaders have positively impacted the programs and services of the USO to make significant and lasting impressions on our service members and their families," USO President and CEO Dr. J.D. Crouch II said. "Their generous donations of time and dedicated efforts on behalf of the USO have helped us become the vital bridge that keeps America connected to the 1 percent who serve and protect this country."
Along with the 75th Anniversary Honorary Committee and the more than 180 USO locations worldwide, the USO invites all Americans to join us in strengthening our service members as part of our 75th anniversary celebration. The USO believes service members draw strength from connections to the things they love and fight for – and, as a nation, one of the best ways to show our appreciation is through messages of support and gratitude. On Thursday, February 4th, join us in our Campaign to Connect and send a message to our military members and their families by:
Some of the upcoming highlights of the yearlong celebration include:
The USO's yearlong anniversary celebration would not be possible without the generosity of its corporate partners. As the founding partner of the USO, The Coca-Cola Company has worked closely with the USO since 1941. This partnership has grown from not only refreshing military personnel through financial and in-kind product assistance, to supporting the development of programming that will drive continued support for service members and their families for years to come.
To find out more about the USO, visit us at uso.org and be sure to join the conversation online using #USOconnects.
About the USO
The USO strengthens America's military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort and support. The USO is not a government agency, but a private nonprofit organization. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, the support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.
In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President's Circle Partners: AT &T, the BNSF Railway Foundation, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, NFL and Four-Star Partners: BIC, ConAgra Foods, FedEx, GEICO, JCPenney, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, TKS and the Wawa Foundation. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.
Media Contact: Gayle Fishel, 703.908.6433
United Service Organizations (USO)
Media Contact: Gayle Fishel, 703.908.6433
United Service Organizations (USO) Logo