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Elks USO Joining ForcesThe USO of today is ‘not your father’s USO’. While the USO still sponsors live entertainment like the famous Bob Hope tours, today it reaches troops in a number of new and meaningful ways. Operation Phone Home, United Through Reading, Sesame Street, and mobile entertainment systems are just a few.
At the Grand Lodge convention in Phoenix, the Elks launched this partnership with USO to purchase, ship, and deliver a USO 2 GO kit to troops stationed at Forward Operating Base Shinwar, on the Pakistan/Afghan border. The USO 2 GO kit contains everything found at a USO base: video consoles, televisions, recreational equipment, books, games, and communications equipment to allow the troops to connect to home. Watch the video of the troops receiving the USO 2 GO can be viewed at:
Not everyone will have the means to purchase a USO 2 GO kit, but there are many inexpensive and even free ways we can provide support. You can visit the USO website and send a Message of Thanks to military families, or share Stories of Support that detail how you have supported military families and participate in volunteer opportunities in their neighborhood that help strengthen the military community.
Through the United Through Reading Program, ten dollars purchases a children’s book and DVD. The deployed member of the armed forces is recorded reading the book to his or her child, and the DVD and book are sent to the child to read along with their parent on TV.
Under Operation Care Package, a $25.00 donation sponsors one USO care package and allows you to include a personal message of support and appreciation. The USO works closely with the Department of Defense to distribute packages. The program also takes care of families by providing a Military Family Care Package.
A donation of $50.00 to Operation Phone Home provides 140 phone calls on international calling cards for deployed troops.
These are just a few of the programs offered by the USO. They are presented here to augment programs or reach our troops and their loved ones in new and creative ways. Visit the Veterans Programs page to see what other programs Elks National Veterans Service Commission offer.