Arlington, VA (PRWEB) April 01, 2013
April is nationally recognized as Month of the Military Child and the USO will honor our nation’s youngest heroes with events and activities at USO locations worldwide. The USO has a 72-year history of supporting military children as they cope with unique challenges like the stresses of being away from a parent during deployment and what it’s like when a parent returns home “different”- adjusting to life with visible and invisible wounds. In the 10 years since the United States’ invasion of Iraq, the USO has continually adapted to meet the needs of our nation’s military families.
There are more than 1.2 million children with a parent in the United States military, of those 220,000 have a parent deployed and many have endured the stresses of multiple deployments. Whether they are worrying about a loved one in harm’s way or facing the challenges that can arise when families are reunited after a lengthy deployment, the USO is standing with them.
“The USO adapts to meet the needs of those who need us most. To support our nation’s youngest heroes, we have made a commitment to providing programs and services to help them lead strong family lives today, tomorrow and in the future,” said Susan Thomas, Vice President, USO Warrior and Family Care. “The USO provides opportunities for families to stay connected during deployment, comforting them when they are facing unimaginable life challenges, and support their transition when mom or dad returns home.”
This month the USO will support our nation’s littlest heroes with USO programs and events worldwide including:
With You All the Way: Trevor Romain will be engaging in activities around the Nation’s Capitol including tour stops at Fort Meade and Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, as well as Fort Belvoir in Virginia, where he will officially kick off the Month of the Military Child in a presentation alongside the installation command. Romain will also engage with Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill during an assembly event for the “Taking Care of You” kits (benefitting children of wounded soldiers) and join a panel of three other family and child health professionals at the second annual With You All the Way Symposium at Fort Belvoir. With You All the Way will then travel to Twentynine Palms, CA to deliver presentations to children of those stationed at the Marine Combat Training Center.
The Little CHAMPS: The book “The Little CHAMPS: Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel” follows the children of five service members, each representing a branch of the military, as they cope with deployments, saying goodbye, and when a parent returns home wounded. In addition to providing copies of the book to USO Centers Worldwide, this April the USO will bring the book’s author, Debbie Fink, to the Pacific Region to present her book and educational curriculum to nearly 6,000 military children.
Sesame Street/USO Experience: The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families made its debut in July 2008, to help families deal with the challenges of deployment and homecomings. Since its inception, the tour has taken its message to more than 368,000 troops and military families and performed 631 shows on 145 military installations in 33 states and 11 countries. Additionally, the tour logged more than 122,000 miles and distributed more than 2 million giveaways. This spring, the tour will once again be hitting the road to visit 42 installations in 8 countries in the Europe and Pacific regions.
USO Centers: USO centers provide a warm and comforting place where troops can connect with home via Internet or telephone. USO centers also provide a place for military families to come together and connect with one another to support each other in difficult times. USO Center events focused on military children for Month of the Military Child include:
Project Cinderella: This annual event hosted by USO of Metropolitan Washington is designed to prepare military women for formal functions through fun, interactive workshops and demonstrations lead by industry experts. Workshops include dressing right for one’s body type, beauty on a budget, fun with make-up/hair and etiquette. The event will also include pampering activities, makeovers, photo shoot, crowning “Project Cinderella 2013” and a Princess Tea party. The grand finale consists of a dress and accessory boutique giveaway.
Spring Fling: USO Las Vegas is collaborating with a number of community military support groups to sponsor a "Spring Fling" carnival to celebrate the importance of military children in our community.
USO Story Time: This event, hosted by USO Fort Hood in Texas, is designed for preschoolers to promote early literacy. Activities will include breakfast, story time, and craft activities.
Liggett Carnival: USO Bay Area will be out at Fort Hunter Liggett in California to celebrate military children with a carnival and fun fair offering games, prizes, and food.
Last year, the USO connected military families during separation with more than 3 million free phone calls. In addition, troops made more than 43,000 United Through Reading recordings, affording deployed parents the opportunity to read along with their children back home.
In a recent survey conducted among active duty military and their dependents, USO’s support of military families ranked among the highest valued services the USO provides to our nation’s military. Programs like With You All the Way saw an increase of 19% over last year.
Following a tour stop in Germany last fall, Trevor Romain and the With You All the Way program received this note from a military spouse:
“Dear Mr. Romain. Thank you for coming to Patch Elementary School in Stuttgart. My son did not stop talking about your visit all the way home in the car. Then something happened when we got to the house. You see my husband was hurt and he lost part of his leg and my son seems ashamed and angry about what happened. He always wanted to take his anger out by himself and stay locked in his room alone and did not want to deal with his dad. And it was so hard for my husband. He said that kind of pain was worse than his injury. Today when he came home my son wrote a letter to his dad and said he loved him and wanted to help him get better. I’m not sure what you said to him but thank you and Mr. Woody and the USO for your presentation and for helping our kids on the bases. You just don’t know how much it means to us. I cannot thank you enough for your help.”
Visit http://www.uso.org to learn how the USO is always by the side of those who need us most: deployed troops, military families, wounded, ill and injured troops and their caregivers and families of the fallen.
About the USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America¹s 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, 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.