* For more than 68 years, the USO has been providing morale-boosting programs and services to enhance the quality of life for military personnel and their families around the world.
* The USO was conceived in 1941 in response to a mandate from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The President challenged six private organizations – the YMCA, YWCA, National Catholic Community Service, the National Jewish Welfare Board, the Traveler’s Aid Association and the Salvation Army – to handle the on-leave morale needs for members of the armed forces.
* While the USO has diversified and changed over time, the mission remains unchanged: to bring a touch of home to our men and women in uniform, until every one comes home.
* The USO is the link between the American people and military personnel. Through the USO, Americans can show their appreciation and express their gratitude.
* The USO is not a government agency. It is a nonprofit, charitable organization and relies on donations from private citizens and corporations.
* Currently, the USO operates more than 130 centers in 9 countries, 21 states and the District of Columbia.
* More than 25,000 volunteers donate their time and talents. Service members and their families visit USO centers 5.3 million times each year.
* Throughout World War II, the USO was the channel for community participation in the war effort.
* The USO had all but disbanded by 1947, but regrouped when the United States entered the Korean War. At the request of the Department of Defense, the USO continued to expand following the end of the Korean War.
* For the first time in its history, USO centers were located in combat zones during the Vietnam War.