SPONSORED CONTENT -- (StatePoint) For more than 80 years, the USO has served the men and women of the U.S. military and their families, throughout their time in uniform. And now, with the opening of its first two ship-based USO centers, they are going where they go even at sea.
The two new centers, on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) and the USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), are designed to lift spirits among deployed sailors, providing a haven filled with comforting amenities, including large-screen TVs, the latest-generation gaming equipment, board games and activity sets, computers, phones, USO program kits and snacks. This USO presence, which includes many of the same amenities as a land-based, staffed USO Center, promises to cultivate a sense of camaraderie and enhanced morale, serving as a vital source of support during long journeys.
When underway, a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier is home to as many as 5,000 personnel -- the size of a small city. Living aboard roughly 4.5 acres and 60,000 tons of floating structural steel for months at a time, with very few port visits, leaves individuals little space to get away and find time to themselves. These conditions can be stressful and isolating for sailors who are separated from their loved ones. Expanding USO support to those serving at sea is vital in helping boost morale, improving the quality of life on board the ship, and providing more opportunities to connect with friends and family back home.
“We operate in more than 250 locations, but these new ship-based centers are special,” said Dr. J.D. Crouch II, USO chief executive officer and president. “The USO goes where the men and women of the military go. Now, we can add ‘at sea’ with these centers, which are a key part of our efforts to provide additional support to sailors.”
Photo Credit: (c) USO Photos