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One Month Countdown Begins to USO's 75th Anniversary on February 4, 2016

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 4, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

WHAT: Entering into its milestone 75th year, one of the nation's leading military-serving nonprofit organizations is inviting the American public to join the USO in keeping the men and women in uniform who protect our freedoms connected to the things they love: family, home, and country.

WHERE: Nearly 200 USO locations around the world.

WHEN: Yearlong kickoff on Thursday, February 4.

WHY: As the nation braced itself for World War II in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized that maintaining high morale in America's fighting force would be vital to the nation's success in battle. "Not by machines alone will we win this war," Roosevelt said. On February 4, 1941, he led the founding of the USO as the nation's organization dedicated to keeping service members connected to the people and places they were fighting for.

As it turns 75, the USO's mission is as vital today as it was in 1941. To mark its anniversary, the USO is inviting Americans to get reacquainted with today's USO, whose mission is to strengthen America's military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country throughout their service to the nation. This mission cannot be accomplished by the USO alone. All Americans can help their military neighbors, friends and relatives – and service members whom they've never met – by staying more closely connected to them as they serve the nation. The USO is dedicating itself to making those connections easier to maintain.

Throughout the year, the USO will share historical and real-time memories via #USOconnects and is inviting the public to share their memories, experiences, appreciation and stories of connection by using the hashtag. In addition, the USO has designed a gold and blue anniversary logo to commemorate the milestone.

Some of the highlights coming as part of the yearlong celebration include:

  • Global USO Center Celebrations - From cake-cuttings to open houses, our nearly 200 locations worldwide will celebrate on February 4, 2016.
  • USO Route 75 - The USO story team will travel to USO locations around the United States to report stories that advance the dialogue on issues facing today's military, including military transition and the disconnect that persists between America's military and civilian populations.
  • ON★PATROL 75th Anniversary Commemorative Issue -The magazine of the USO reflects on our organization's history, what we're doing today and what lies ahead for the USO. Personal anecdotes from USO tour veterans and in-depth feature stories about the USO's long-term partnerships with Coca-Cola and the NFL are among the issue's many highlights. The digital edition of the magazine will be published Feb. 4 and will be available at http://bit.ly/OnPatrol75.
  • 75th Anniversary Honorary Committee - The 75th Anniversary Honorary Committee membership comprises prominent figures from entertainment, athletics, media, government and military officials and senior corporate executives.
  • USO Transition 360 Alliance & Roadtrip Nation - USO & Roadtrip Nation will send three transitioning service members or veterans on a four-week road trip this spring. The road trippers will discover compatible careers and interview other veterans who have successfully found meaningful work after their service. The entire trip will be filmed for a public television documentary that illustrates how veterans can translate their unique skills and leadership into new and exciting careers.
  • 75th Anniversary Entertainment Tours - USO will continue to deliver its high-quality entertainment to locations around the world to give service members and their families a much-needed break from the rigors of military duty.

Additionally, the USO will tip its hat to its early beginnings with the unveiling of a new Mobile USO. In the 1940s, the USO dispatched its mobile centers to remote sites so service members in the field could enjoy their limited downtime. In those early years, Mobile USOs consisted of trucks with generators, screens and projectors to show film reels and many were equipped with a public address system, turntables and records, sports gear, board games, books and snacks. The new Mobile is 38 feet long and will include two 65-inch TVs, five Xbox gaming systems and will be wheelchair accessible. The vehicle also includes both internal and external sound systems with three slide-outs to accommodate more people and a canteen window.

To find out more about the USO visit us online at uso.org and be sure to join the conversation online using #USOconnects.

QUOTE: "Ours has always been a mission of connection," USO CEO and President J.D. Crouch II said. "Whether we are connecting service members to their families, to the things that remind them of home or to the resources they need to make a successful transition out of the military, we are always by their side as they make the journey through military life. As we reflect on the past 75 years and move forward as an organization, the USO will focus on building strong and lasting connections between our service members and the American people they serve."

About the USO

The USO strengthens America's military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours 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: AT &T, the BNSF Railway Foundation, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, NFL and Four-Star Partners: BIC, ConAgra Foods, FedEx, GEICO, JCPenney, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, TKS and the Wawa Foundation. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.

CONTACT: Gayle Fishel 703.908.6433 gfishel@uso.org

Source: United Service Organizations (USO)