USO Delivers Joy to Service Members who couldn’t make it Home for the Holidays
Each year thousands of service members travel home for the holidays; however, there are just as many who remain behind at military installations due to assigned duties, personal circumstances or other reasons.
It can be hard for these dedicated service members to stay behind and continue answering the call to serve during this time of year, which is why the USO makes a special point to host festive events and meals to make them feel at home.
Delivering Holiday Cheer for Service Members Throughout the Southeastern U.S.
At USO centers and outreach locations on military training sites throughout the Southeastern U.S., USO staff and volunteers work with local military installation leadership to deliver holiday treats – like hot chocolate, stockings stuffed with holiday goodies, delicious meals and plenty of joyous, holiday cheer – to service members who remain on duty.
Here’s a look at just some of the festivities that took place this year:
Last week at Fort Jackson, S.C., roughly 340 service members enjoyed a week of holiday festivities filled with outdoor games, a hayride, fishing, snacks, a BBQ lunch and much more.
Over 150 military families stationed at Camp Shelby, and Naval Construction Battalion Center in Mississippi enjoyed making holiday cookies, and a USO Toyland event, with special a visit from Santa’s elves, and the sugar plum fairy.
Meanwhile, young sailors and Marines in the barracks to include military families stationed at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., enjoyed a holiday weekend baking cookies, making chicken and dumplings, and playing a mean game pool and taking pictures with Santa at their local USO.
USO Central Florida delivered more than 1,700 gifts to over 800 military children in the local area as part of their annual Operation Stuff a Stocking.
Further east, USO Jacksonville provided young military families stationed at Naval Station Jacksonville with holiday meal bags that included dry goods, turkeys and other holidays treats during the holidays.
In North Carolina, over 750 Marines conducting initial combat training at Camp Geiger got a special visit from the USO Southeast’s Mobile vehicle, which delivered hot chocolate, holiday cookies and holiday bags stuffed with treats.
Soldiers and their families at Fort Benning and Fort Stewart, Ga., received USO Holiday bags filled with snacks and other items to include a hot meal, brightening their holidays.
Further north, in Norfolk, Va., USO Hampton Roads Central Virginia joined forces with the local Girl Scout troop and handed out holiday treats to service members traveling through the USO Service Center at the Norfolk International Airport.
At Fort Campbell, military families received holiday gifts for their children, to ensure they had a joyous holiday season.
The USO – with the help of volunteers, donors and partners – strengthens our military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, especially during the holiday season. Although our service members may be away from home for the holidays, the USO brings a little of home to them.
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