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Mobile USO visits 118th AW

Staff Sgt. Jason Thompson and Staff Sgt. Mark Schermerhorn, of 118th Maintenance, take a break to go Wii bowling, Feb. 17.

Staff Sgt. Jason Thompson and Staff Sgt. Mark Schermerhorn, of 118th Maintenance, take a break to go Wii bowling, Feb. 17.

Staff Sgt. Stephen West, 118th AW recruiter, stopped by the Mobile USO and played on one of the four XBox stations inside.

Staff Sgt. Stephen West, 118th AW recruiter, stopped by the Mobile USO and played on one of the four XBox stations inside.

Nashville -- The Mobile USO made an appearance at the 118th Airlift Wing on Feb. 17, and over 100 Airman from the unit made an appearance to see what all it was about. The Mobile USO was located in the front hanger and refreshments and snacks were given to those who stopped by.

"Our visit's intent was to interact and educate the Airlift Wing on what resources are available to them via the USO both stateside and in theater overseas," said Tisha Sweeney, Mobile Unit Manager for the Mobile USO (East Coast).

"Our Mobile served as an entertainment element to the work day, and provided breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages throughout the day to raise morale and to make sure that the Airmen know that they are appreciated," Sweeney added.

It was open for anyone to tour and anyone who just wanted to take a break.

"The Mobile USO offers a variety of services to all servicemembers, including complimentary food and beverage, use of our Xbox gaming stations, use of Rock Band and Wii consoles, viewing of movies and sports on any of our three flat screen TVs, as well as use of any of our 11 wireless laptops so that servicemembers can connect with family and friends via the internet," said Sweeney.

"Hello from the Homefront" was also available.

"Friends and family members can film messages of support to loved ones serving overseas at no cost on board our vehicle," said Sweeney. The messages will be sent to the deployed member on behalf of the USO. The program was designed specifically for the Mobile USOs and allows the general public to sign banners and videotape messages of support that are sent to servicemembers serving in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

"We also host the United Through Reading Program on board, which provides servicemembers with books to read on camera to their children before they deploy, and we provide the child with that DVD and the book, so they may listen to Mom or Dad read them a story at night even when they are away," Sweeney added. More information about the United Through Reading Program can be found at http://uso/org/whatwedo/usoprograms/unitedthroughreading/.

The Mobile USOs were designed to be centers on wheels, providing signature USO services to troops where there isn't a traditional brick and mortar facility. Additionally, the ability to move about the country will expose and educate new and critical audiences to the USO.

There are three Mobile USOs in all and they are based in Las Vegas, Dallas, and Norfolk, VA. They serve as an extension of the stateside USOs already out working to support the military and military families.

The USO offers programs than the Mobile USO, such as Operation Phone Home, which distributes phone cards to servicemembers who are deployed, Operation USO Care Package and Operation Mail Call.

The USO currently operates centers around the world, providing a variety of programs and services, including orientation programs, family events, travel assistance, free Internet and e-mail access, and recreation services. For more information about the USO or to make a donation, go to www.uso.org, or call 1-888-484-3876.

Airman, friends, and family are encouraged to contact Family Programs Staff if they would like to request the Mobile USO to support and event in the future.
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