As the Holidays Approach, Say "Thanks" to Our Troops With a Gift to the USO
Dear Caring American:
A few days from now, families in small towns and big cities all across the nation will gather together for that "most American" of Holidays - the day we emulate our Pilgrim fathers and give thanks for all that we hold dear.
At the same time, halfway around the world, 170,000 brave young men and women will demonstrate their gratitude in another way: by putting their lives at risk to defend everything America stands for.
As we join our loved ones around the table to feast on turkey and all the trimmings, our troops overseas will grab an MRE and head out to patrol crowded streets and back alleys where insurgents continue to lurk.
As we watch the giant balloons of the Macy's parade usher in the Holiday season, they'll spend Thanksgiving morning in harm's way: a "place" where rounding any corner can mean a deadly ambush... where stopping any car or passerby can trigger an explosion and sudden death.
As we cheer on our high school football heroes or watch the pros on TV, they'll face combat of a different nature - ducking live rounds and remaining alert for the sudden rush of an incoming rocket-propelled grenade.
Today, the deepening economic crisis and post-election political developments continue to dominate our front pages: so much so, that some Americans may even have forgotten about the brave and women who are doing their job overseas, but counting the days till it's their turn to share the home-town celebrations with their loved ones and friends.
However, the USO hasn't forgotten; we've already geared up to provide extra services to our troops... not just for the Holiday season, but throughout the weeks and months ahead. With American troops spread all over the globe...
We must recruit more stars to man our Holiday Entertainment Tours to combat zones... not just to entertain, but also to shake hands with our GIs and say face-to-face, "Thanks! We're here for you. You're the real star!"
We need to buy more pre-paid phone cards, so our troops can call home for free whenever they get a chance, even from a pay phone in Baghdad.
We must staff up and supply our overseas Centers and Mobile Canteens; the Holiday season is the loneliest time to be at the Front, so they'll have to stay open extra hours to provide our guys and gals in uniform with a hot cup of coffee, a warm smile, and a chance... even if just for a few moments... to escape from the War and enjoy a taste of home.
Meeting these special challenges, on top of all the everyday services we provide to our troops and their families, will take a huge effort, cost a lot of money, and stretch our resources to the limit. Many people are surprised to learn that the USO is not a government agency; in fact, we rely on individual citizens who want to support the troops, and who always seem to stand behind us at the times we need them most.
Now is one of those times. Please send your tax-deductible donation today, to help the USO make certain that every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman around the world knows that the folks back home are thinking of them this holiday season, and that we honor their dedication, their heroism, and their sacrifice.
As Americans, we count on them. They count on us. I hope we can count on you.
On behalf of those we serve,
Sloan D. Gibson
USO President & CEO