USO Delivered: Boosting Morale of Isolated Troops

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – How do you support troops you can’t get to? Today, many troops serve in isolated outposts around the world. “USO Delivered” is the USO’s cutting-edge focus on lifting the spirits of troops weherever they serve.

“With our troops serving at austere, far-flung bases, the need for USO programs and services has increased dramatically; we’re working hard to find new ways to deliver the comforts of home wherever they serve,” said Sloan Gibson, USO president.

As part of an effort to modernize the USO’s programming to meet the needs of today’s military, USO Delivered consists of USO2GO, MEGS (Mobile Entertainment Gaming Systems) and USO In A Box.

USO2GO lets units request tailored USO kits to set up their own service member-run centers. Commanders can select from eight kits containing a range of athletic equipment, books and games, toiletry items, furniture, nonperishable comfort foods and beverages, art supplies and much more, after which USO employees headquartered in Arlington, Va., send the kits to them. Since the program’s inception, USO2GO kits have reached more than 100 bases in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines and Egypt.

MEGS are another effort by the USO to provide services to even the most remote areas. Created by Xe, MEGS units feature a high-end projection TV, DVD player and video game system contained in a rugged case. With the MEGS launch, the USO distributed 20 units in time for the 2008 holiday season. By the end of 2009, more than 50 MEGS will be delivered to isolated outposts worldwide.

The most extreme USO Delivered component is the USO In A Box, which is arguably also the most advanced way the organization is bringing a home away from home to service members. The 256-square-foot, collapsible USO In A Box can be transported by helicopter and used in just about any weather environment. Once opened, the “box” is set up in approximately 20 minutes and can hold up to 10 people. Each unit features satellite Internet, three Xbox 360 gaming consoles, two WiFi-capable rugged laptops, flat screen TVs and a theater area equipped with Dolby surround sound and DVDs. The first three USO In A Box units are in Afghanistan, with seven more to be delivered by year end.

“Supporting America’s troops and their families has always been the heart of the USO mission,” Gibson said. “Wherever they serve, whenever they serve, we’re working hard to lift their spirits.”

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