|" According to historian Emily Yellin, "The government was to build the buildings and the USO was to raise private funds to carry out its main mission: boosting the morale of the military."|
- Afghanistan and Iraq
To support troops participating in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, USO centers opened in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait andQatar. USO centers number more than 160 around the world. Recently, the USO opened centers at Fort Campbell, Ky., Fort Riley, Kan., Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Carson, Colo.; and centers in Afghanistan. The USO provides a variety of programs and services, including orientation programs, family events, free Internet and e-mail access, free drinks and snacks, free phone calls home and recreation services. One of the newer programs, called "USO in a Box," delivers program materials ranging from DVD players and videos to musical instruments to remote forward operating bases in Afghanistan.
U.S. military personnel and their families visit USO centers more than eight million times each year.
Other entertainers who have traveled to the Middle East to perform include Al Franken (who made six USO tours in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan before being elected a United States Senator from Minnesota), Craig Ferguson, Gary Sinise, Zac Brown, Carrie Underwood, Drowning Pool, Toby Keith, Montgomery Gentry, Kellie Pickler, Mayra Veronica, Carlos Mencia, O.A.R., Dave Attell,Trace Adkins, Kathleen Madigan, Louis C.K., Dane Cook, Lewis Black, Third Day, Colin Quinn, Kathy Griffin and Neil McCoy.
On July 16, 2012 Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen announced that he will donate at least $1 million dollars to the USO. This will be among the largest single donations ever given to the troop morale-boosting organization.