By Brett Gillin
When you think about charitable giving and the U.S. military, one of the first things that probably comes to mind is the United Services Organizations or USO. Perhaps it’s the images of the Playboy bunnies hopping off helicopters or all the years that Bob Hope seemed to be the face of these shows, but no matter what it is, the USO has become engrained into our society as a gold-standard for charities involving our active duty soldiers and veterans. During this holiday season, The Bright saw it fit to spotlight one of the largest and most active charities supporting our troops to help spread just a little more holiday cheer.
Most people that know the USO know them because of the famous “USO Shows.” If you have a few spare minutes today, heading over to this page on their site shows an amazing timeline of the highlights of these USO Camp Shows. Performances from legendary entertainers like Bing Crosby, Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich, The Marx Brothers, The Rockettes, Fred Astaire, and of course Bob Hope really put the USO on the map as far as recognition in popular culture.
While these Camp Shows do wonders for morale and support of our troops overseas, the USO is so much more than just a way to entertain our troops. The USO operates numerous programs that range from supporting the families of fallen soldiers to providing care packages to troops, from teaching foreign languages to troops and their families to connecting deployed soldiers to their families back at home.
Their mission statement is a simple one: The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families. And their core values of Mission First, Do the Right Thing, Respect, Excellence, Collaboration, Accountability, Gratitude, and Innovation are values that every person and company could certainly live by.
Perhaps what the USO’s greatest contribution to the military is the breadth of their support, and there is always a great need for our support to keep organizations like the USO running. To find out more about the USO’s programs and to donate to their wonderful cause, head on over to their website. In this holiday season, our troops need the morale support and “cheering up” that the USO helps provide more than ever. Your donation could help a soldier reconnect with their family over the holidays, or simply bring a smile to the face of a soldier who’s been facing enemy fire for longer than he or she cares to remember.