The Other Canteen in the Field - the USO


Just days before hubby left for his last deployment, we experienced one of those coincidences that we in the military almost take for granted because they happen so often. 

We were doing the final heavy load of wash and sitting on the top of luggage to try and get the proverbial "ten pounds of [ahem - family blog] into a five pound bag".  I was flipping through the channels on cable looking for something that would make us laugh.  We really needed to laugh. 

As I passed one of the movie channels, hubby suddenly sat up straight and yelled, "Hold on!  I remember that!"

What hubby remembered was a scene he had immortalized on his own camera, pictures he had sent to me and shown everyone we came in contact with (showed those pictures twice, actually).  It was a gaggle of people standing around the comedian Drew Carrey in one of Saddam's Baghdad palaces.  And the reason it was on TV was because the comedian Jeffrey Ross had taped his participation in the USO tour that hubby was remembering.

That movie is called Patriot Act.  We watched it twice.  It chronicled the tour of a group of comedians following the legacy of Bob Hope and entertaining American Troops in a war zone, the war zone that my husband happened to be in.

The USO was created before World War II with the express purpose of, according to their website, "conveying the heartfelt appreciation and support of a grateful nation."  And if you ask any military person who has come in contact with the USO and their services - airport welcoming centers, celebrity tours downrange, referral services, emergency help, support groups, and their many other activities - the USO is thought of in very fond terms.

Very recently, the Humble Patriot wrote about his USO experience as he is deployed this Christmas Season.

And then there was another blogger's amazing experience with Wayne Newton and his commitment to the troops and the USO program.

And, of course, I'm by far not the only SpouseBuzz writer with USO experiences!

Of all the organizations our family has been privileged to work with in some way, we have the fondest memories of the USO.  We spent one night in an airport USO several years ago when an airline employee strike stranded us and two children on our way home from visiting family in California.  Hubby still feels the love from the USO tours he saw while deployed - Drew Carey and Kid Rock.  My brother still laughs about the Robin Williams show he caught while in the Sandbox.

And my heart still catches whenever I see the bag hubby was given upon his last deployment, which had been put together by the USO's Operation Care Package and included a card that said this:

Dear Soldiers and Brothers, We believe in the cause behind your sacrifices and actions.  We appreciate all that you're doing to bring freedom to the oppressed and justice to the oppressed and and justice to the oppressors.  We pray for Godspeed in your safe return home.  God Bless in All Ways, D.H.

Hubby allowed me to keep that card while he was gone. 

I can think of few organizations that deserve In Focus time as much as the USO.  To get more information or to donate, follow the links below:


Avon - Operation CARE package

Volunteer with the USO

Donate to USO Cares

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