USO to Dedicate the USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda in Honor of Prescott S. Bush

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USO recognizes Mr. Bush for his leadership and extraordinary fundraising in support of the USO mission during World War II

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Service was my father's creed, you might say, and our family is very grateful to know his name will forever be associated with an organization dedicated to 'duty, honor, country' - former President George H.W. Bush.

Today the USO announces it will dedicate the new USO Warrior and Family Center at the National Military Medical Center at Bethesda in honor of Prescott S. Bush. Mr. Bush, the father of former President George Herbert Walker Bush and grandfather of former President George W. Bush, will be recognized for his vision, leadership and extraordinary USO fundraising efforts from 1942-1946.

The new USO Warrior and Family Center will open at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, in spring 2014. This 16,000-square-foot center will focus on the unique needs of wounded, ill and injured troops and families receiving care at the medical center.

Prescott S. Bush was named USO National Campaign Chairman in early 1942, one year after the USO was founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In his first year as chairman, Mr. Bush exceeded the USO’s fundraising goal by helping to raise more than $34 million. For the balance of World War II, he led four campaign efforts to raise funds for the National War Fund, which included the USO as its majority beneficiary. By the end of the war, Mr. Bush raised more than $210 million for the USO. Translated to today’s dollars, that’s roughly $2.6 billion.

“It is most fitting to recognize Prescott Bush’s extraordinary support of the USO mission during World War II with this new, flagship center that will be a focal point for supporting our wounded, ill and injured troops and their families receiving treatment and recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center,” said USO President and CEO Sloan Gibson. “Today’s USO stands as a legacy of Prescott Bush’s leadership and his hard work 70 years ago. He provided the foundation to achieve the unparalleled scope, scale, presence, reach, knowledge and trust of today’s USO,”

"Our entire family is deeply touched that the USO is remembering and honoring my father's service in this meaningful way,” said former President George H.W. Bush. “Dad was totally devoted to supporting the USO and its noble mission of lifting up our servicemen and women who defend our freedom, and he would be inspired not only to see how that morally important charge has been carried out to this day – but also to see the energy and thought being so diligently invested in the USO's future. Service was my father's creed, you might say, and our family is very grateful to know his name will forever be associated with an organization dedicated to 'duty, honor, country.’”

Prescott S. Bush brought business skills to the USO, establishing the organization as a leader in delivering support and morale-boosting activities for troops. His leadership imbued the USO with the spirit that drives today’s USO to always be by the side of troops and families. Mr. Bush exceeded those fundraising goals because of his assurances to donors that funds would be spent on direct services for the troops’ immediate needs. Those efforts raised more money for USO projects and programs, nationally and internationally, than any other campaign in USO history.

A veteran of World War I, Bush’s passion for troop support helped give confidence to the American public that its funds would be spent wisely. The strong base of public support for the USO remains today as the USO continues to lift the spirits of troops and military families. Prescott Bush was the father and grandfather of two Presidents of the United States, each of whom – as commander in chief – continued his tradition of supporting troops and military families.

The USO will have a dedication ceremony and unveil a Prescott S. Bush bronze bust and inscribed plaque at the grand opening of the USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda in early 2014. The inscription will read:

Prescott S. Bush
(1895-1972)

A veteran of World War I, he directed USO fundraising effort from 1942 until 1946. By the end of World War II, his effort raised more than $210 million for the USO, making it possible for the USO to begin its tradition of lifting the spirits of troops and military families around the world.

“He gave an abundance of his time, all of this interest and devotion, as his real powers of inspiration.”

The USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda will be the third USO center geared to support wounded troops, their families and caregivers. The second center, USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir, opened on February 5, 2013 and supports our wounded, ill and injured troops including those battling invisible wounds of war. Since it opened in 2008, the USO Warrior Center at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, has provided a home away from home for recovering wounded, ill and injured troops.

These three USO centers support an integrated military health care network providing world-class medical service to the nation’s wounded, ill and injured troops. Both stateside centers are funded through Operation Enduring Care, the USO’s initiative to deliver the resources needed to support our nation’s wounded, ill and injured troops, their families and caregivers, through the recovery process.

The Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda is strategically located adjacent to the wounded warrior barracks, known as Tranquility Hall, making it more convenient for wounded, ill and injured troops and their families to get support during their recovery process. Troops recovering from war wounds and injuries will have access to state-of-the-art, ADA-compliant spaces to relax, have fun and learn in a USO center with the comforts of home.

The new USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda is designed to ease the stresses that affect recovering troops, their families and caregivers through a wide variety programs and support services. At over 16,000 square feet, the building will feature a community room, business center, indoor and outdoor dining areas, healing garden, fireside lounge, and space for programs dedicated to the creative arts. The USO center will provide a central gathering place to enhance the most important non-clinical needs of the patients and their families.

The USO is uniquely positioned to establish a first-class support network for our nation’s healing heroes. To learn more about the USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda – and USO Warrior and Family Care – please visit uso.org.

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About the USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.

In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, Clear Channel, The Coca-Cola Company, Grand Canyon University, jcpenney, Jeep, Kangaroo Express, Kroger, Lowe’s, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation and TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.

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Gayle Fishel
USO
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