What Is the USO? The Heart of American Patriotism

What Is the USO? The Heart of American Patriotism

Civilian life keeps most Americans removed from the struggles that military members and their families often face. Organizations across the U.S. exist to help bridge that gap and provide education on what troops need. But what is the USO, in particular? What function does it serve?

Navy Paddles What Is the USO? The Heart of American Patriotism

Perhaps you’ve seen military troops at the airport holding their loved ones and saying their goodbyes and wondered, “How do they cope with being so far from home while maintaining their relationships with family members?”

The answer for many troops is the United Service Organizations (USO). Here’s what you need to know about the country’s leading organization for military members and their families.

What Is the USO? 

The USO is a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding members of the military as they uphold their duties whether overseas or based in the U.S. The organization pledges to keep troops connected with their families – no matter the distance between them.  

What Is the Purpose of the USO? 

The USO exists to support military members – and their families – throughout the duration of their service to America. 

The brave warriors of our time seek support, whether they are deployed or stationed at home. The organization offers soldiers a foundation on which they can stand tall. 


The USO has many programs available to troops including United Through Reading, the USO Care Package Program, and the Mobile USO, to name a few. 


For many soldiers overseas, a phone call to a spouse or sibling can mean the world – especially when connections are quite limited. The USO continues to provide the connections that troops need to stay strong while on duty. 


The USO has over 250 centers located all over the world; most sites include a lounge area, free snacks and drinks, and Wi-Fi access. 


The organization provides a variety of entertainment choices to nurture the feelings of the soldiers’ homes. Some examples include concerts, comedy shows, and visits from sports teams like NASCAR and the NFL. 

What Are the Victories of the USO? 

The USO has remained a strong source of support for military troops and their loved ones since 1941

This prominent nonprofit organization has stood the test of time for soldiers in need of support, as well as their family members who wish to remain central to their lives. The organization was born out of six different organizations, prompted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, uniting in a single mission of connection.  

Navy Paddles What Is the USO? The Heart of American Patriotism

This February 4, 2021, the USO will celebrate over seven decades of service – a major accomplishment given that it is not government funded. A foundation of selfless volunteers, generous donors, and dedicated staff have kept the organization running strong to this day. 

How Can Americans Support Our Troops? 

Standing with our troops means being aware of their current needs and taking part in ways that make a difference. A simple card or gift can go a long way to lift a soldier out of the distress that comes with the challenges of being deployed. 

A true patriot never lets America down. As Americans, we, too, must stand by our men and women who fight for our liberties by never forgetting our patriotic morale. The spirit of America is to salute our troops with humility and gratitude for the endless sacrifices they have made. 

Here’s how you can support our troops through the USO:

Give a Gift to a Soldier 

With the USO Wishbook, you can send gifts that are requested by troops. 

Gift options include (but are not limited to): 

  • Food packages 
  • A phone call with a family member
  • Bedtime stories for a soldier’s child 
  • A video call with a loved one

A plaque or commemorative paddle is another way to show our servicemen and servicewomen they are appreciated, recognized, and honored.


More than 30,000 volunteers dedicate their time to serving American troops. 

Learn more about how you can become a force for good as a USO volunteer.  


Social media is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal. Read stories on the USO website and then share them with your network.

These personalized stories represent troops and their families across the globe that are impacted by the generosity of the USO. By sharing on social media, you help the American people to understand how the USO contributes to the heart of patriotism. 

The USO is essential to keep soldiers resilient as they devote their lives to protecting Americans; it is the helping hand many troops need when they struggle to persevere in the fight for the freedom of every American citizen. 

The USO upholds the essence of the common phrase, “leave no soldier behind.”

Because of the USO, troops and their loved ones have the crucial support that they need, and soldiers can leave home confident that they will never be forgotten. 
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