USO Strengthens Well-Being of Military Families during USO Experience Virigina Beach 2024

The United Service Organizations (USO) Mid-Atlantic staff and volunteers hosted USO Experience Virginia Beach 2024, a four day-long series of fun, athletic, recreational, and social activities for service members and their families, to include the local community to enjoy, May 30 – June 2, 2024.

“This was my preschoolers favorite event last year, and were were excited to check out it again this year,” said Franchesca DesJardins, a military spouse.

The event kicked off May 30, where a U.S. Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) made a beach landing at 23rd Street, at 9:00 a.m., establishing the USO’s Military Village on the Virginia Beach boardwalk. Later in the evening pre-registered active duty, National Guard, Reservists, and their family members enjoyed dinner, as well as 24 lanes of bowling, thrilling hyper-realistic VR experiences, a 95+ game arcade and much more at Apex Entertainment Virginia Beach

“Our family had an amazing time. Thank you so much,” Chelsea Hower, a military spouse of a U.S. Marine.

USO Experience Virginia Beach 2024 also provided adaptive and non-adaptive activities for active duty service members and their families. Activities included horseback riding, paddleboarding, sunrise yoga, a corn hole tournament, skydiving and more.

“You guys [the USO] are amazing! I grew up around horses, and to be out here with my daughter, riding on a beautiful day like today is so rejuvenating and allows my daughter and I to connect in a fun and meaningful way,” said Petty Officer Bill Doddin, a Chief Aviation Electronics Technician, currently assigned to the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN) 77.

The City of Virginia Beach and surrounding communities were also invited to join service members and participate in select activities side by side with the local military community. Events open to the general public included, sunrise yoga, beach workouts, geocaching, movies on the beach, and concerts in the park.

“USO Experience Virginia Beach highlights the USO’s multitude of world-class programs and events, and is designed to promote health, wellness and teamwork, while creating meaningful connections between the local military and civilian communities,“ said Kenny Miller, Area Operations Manager, USO Mid-Atlantic, Southern Virginia.

USO Experience Virginia Beach 2024 would not have been possible without the support from the following partners:

  • Independence Partner - Southern New Hampshire University
  • Warrior Partners - ADS, Inc., Apex Entertainment, Deloitte, ECPI University, GEICO
  • Freedom Partners - Humana Military, Navy Federal Credit Union, Semper Fi & America’s Fund, Truist
  • Community Partners - Wawa, Inc., City of Virginia Beach, Skydive Suffolk, Freedom Outdoors, Project Healing Waters, Hampton Roads Moving and Storage, Military Aviation Museum, Giaimo Management Corp, HDT, Virginia Beach Adaptive Watersports Inc., Equi-Kids Therapeutic Riding Program, the Mariner’s Museum and Park and Virginia Beach Surf Sessions.

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