The USO is a 501c3 nonprofit military support organization. The mission of the USO is to connect service members with family, home and country throughout their service to our nation.
USO Alaska has supported the mission of the USO by offering a variety of programs and outreach initiatives to ease the challenges of service for Alaska’s military. In February 2016, during the USO’s 75th anniversary year, the first-ever USO Wellness Center and USO Alaska Center opened at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) near Anchorage.
Staff and volunteers also delivered toys and food to military families across the holidays and supported homecomings and deployments, facilitated baby showers, pet therapy and other events to help strengthen the resiliency of military families coping with the unique challenges of military life in Alaska.
2017 was another significant year for USO Alaska Center expansion, opening at Eielson AFB in February and developing a USO dayroom at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in Anchorage, to enhance the enlistment experience for service members new to the military.
The year finished strong with a third USO Alaska Center opened at Fort Wainwright, offering the traditional Center amenities as well as a family-friendly Wellness Center. In 2017, USO Alaska’s total service impact (center foot traffic + programs/outreach) surpassed 82,000; a 58% increase over first year operations.
The USO’s support throughout Alaska is traced back to WWII, with temporary USO Clubs in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Ketchikan, Seward, Juneau, Sitka and Skagway (1941-1947). There are now more than 200 USO locations worldwide, offering a broad, ongoing scope of support for service members and families currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
USO Alaska Programs and Outreach USO Alaska works with military leadership throughout the state to identify and respond to ongoing needs for support and morale-boosting activities, resources and entertainment. For example, USO Alaska facilitated delivery of Mobile Entertainment Gaming Systems (MEGS), portable heaters, holiday party kits and back-to-school supplies for several U.S. Coast Guard bases as well as tailored USO2GO packages for soldiers training at the Northern Warfare Training Center in chilly Black Rapids, AK. Recent USO Entertainment Tours have included such celebrities as Rodney Atkins, Craig Morgan, Cassadee Pope, Miss America, various NFL players and UFC fighters. The USO Show Troupe also entertained thousands during multiple visits to Alaska’s military installations, performing for all service branches.
Additional programs and outreach services include but are not limited to:
- Wellness challenges and activities
- Military couples’ resiliency seminars
- Military/spouse appreciation events
- No-dough dinners & pancake breakfasts
- USO Special Delivery baby showers
- USO2GO support for isolated installations
- Prizes, free tickets
- Transitional assistance
- Movie Nights
- Pet Therapy
- Homecoming & deployment support
- Holiday gifts for military families in need
- Arts & craft activities
- USO Entertainment events/special guests
- USO Mobile support
- Operation Standing Guard (Oct. – April)
For event updates and more info:
Follow us on Facebook:
Twitter, Instagram: @USOAlaska
USO Alaska Website: https://alaska.uso.org
Volunteer information: https://alaska.uso.org/support/volunteer
Statewide & Sponsorship Support: Brett Banks, USO Alaska Executive Director, (907) 775-9023 or BBanks@uso.org