For countless people, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer. My family is among those numbers.  This weekend was especially joyous for us as our oldest daughter’s high school graduation ceremony was on Saturday morning. Our weekend was filled to the brim with activity, some major milestones (like graduating!) and some more routine, like having a cookout and buying flowers for our porches. 

getting porches ready for summer

It wasn’t until my husband hung our new flag, that I stopped to pay my respects again for the people who died while serving in our countries armed forces. I decided then to write about the two unique and new to me ways I found the USO supports military families. 

USO logo
The United Services Organization, most commonly known as the USO, is a nonprofit organization that provides programs, services and live entertainment to United States service members and their families. 

Their website states their mission as: 

 “The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation.”

One of the biggest supporters of the USO in our time was the great Bob Hope. He started performing for the troops in 1941 and his legacy lives on today. The first unique way the USO supports military families is part of the Bob Hope Reading Program, called Read2Connect.

1. About Read2Connect:

According to the USO’s website, Read2Connect is a program that provides military children with an opportunity to record themselves reading a book of their choice aloud to their family or friends. Then, the recording is packed with a handwritten note and mailed to the loved one so they can watch their military child friend or relative read them a story.

As an avid reader and supporter of literacy programs, I was happy to learn about this program and hear about it from a 13 year old, Jordan Scott who is participating in Read2Connect while living in Japan. Here is his video.

If you would like to learn more about this program and see how you can help, go here. Follow the link at the bottom of the article. 

The second unique way the USO is helping military families is with baby showers through their What to Expect Foundation

2. About the What To Expect Foundation: (What to Expect Present Special Delivery): 

“For the USO and the What to Expect Foundation, the goal of each Special Delivery shower is the same: Educate and empower military moms and foster a sense of community where it might be needed most – far from home and family."

"These things are important to moms-to-be, which is why the USO and the What to Expect Foundation teamed up in 2013 to host baby showers for military moms. Heidi Murkoff, who established the What to Expect Foundation in 1997, serves as the host for each shower, answering questions, signing copies of her best-selling book, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” and posing for photos with expectant mothers.

You can learn more about this program and see cute babies, by watching this video. 

If you would like to learn more about this program and help out moms to be, go here

How you can help:

I learned that the USO is a well-respected and valuable resource for military families and there are so many ways we can plug in and help, globally, nationally or in our own communities. If my two unique ways of helping don’t speak to you, I invite you to visit the and check out all the programs they offer hereI’m sure you’ll find a program that is just right for you, even if that means a monetary donation rather than a time commitment. 

My family and I wish to extend our sincere gratitude for all the men and women who are serving our country now, or who have in the past. I’m hopeful that I can keep the giving spirit alive and well within myself and my family long past this Memorial Day

Please share in comments: Are you a military family? Do you utilize any of the USO programs? 

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