Hundreds of USO supporters including members of Congress, Congressional staff, former Olympians, professional athletes, and volunteers marked 9/11 by assembling 2,000 USO Care Packages for service men and women currently serving in Afghanistan.
“This (care package) was packed for them on the morning of September 11th, the 11th anniversary of a tragic occasion here in the United States, one that led to our troops being deployed in many places around the world,” said Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla. “Again we say thank you for doing this today, thank you for the support of the USO.”
Operation USO Care Package was developed after 9/11, in response to heightened restrictions, as a way to send items to our troops overseas and show them our support. This year’s event also included support from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and the Greater Washington Sports Alliance.
Shellie Pfohl, executive director of the President’s Council on Fitness, also addressed the audience about the significance of the event.
“This day, September 11th, will always be significant for Americans, not only for the tragic events that took place in 2001 but for the spirit of service that it has inspired with many of our great men and women and those that enlisted thereafter,” she said.
Operation USO Care Packages contain items troops use every day: prepaid international phone cards, snacks and travel-size toiletries. In addition, this years care packages include two unique items – special edition Olympic razors donated by Proctor & Gamble and a special thank you card signed by USO Caucus Co-Chairs, Reps. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas.
Since 2003, the USO has delivered more than 2 million care packages to bring a touch of home and necessities to active duty military serving all over the world. USO Care Packages are distributed to troops traveling through USO centers worldwide as well as sent to troops serving overseas. In addition to the care packages assembled at the Sept. 11 event, members of Congress honored our service men and women by signing a flag that will be hung outside USO Kandahar in Afghanistan.
“Our USO Centers in Afghanistan are visited more than 120,000 times a month,” said Frank Thorp, senior vice president Marketing & Communications for the USO. “This flag, with all the members’ words of encouragement and support, will proudly fly at our USO Center in Kandahar, Afghanistan where it will serve as a constant reminder to our nation’s brave men and women that America supports them.”
Operation USO Care Package is just one of the many programs that the USO offers to provide support and a home away from home for our active duty military, military families, wounded warriors, their families and caregivers. Last year, USO centers around the world were visited more than 8million times by troops and their families.
For more information about USO programs and services please visit www.uso.org.