SPRINGFIELD – The United Service Organization (USO) has been making the members of the United States Military feel at home for seventy five years.
On February 6, members of the Illinois USO brought cake and Girl Scout Cookies to the members of the 173rd Fighter Wing of the Illinois Air Guard in Springfield, something the Guard members were grateful to receive.
USO of Illinois President and CEO Alison Ruble says the organization’s mission hasn't changed in seventy five years.
She said, “It’s connecting with the military and their families to home and country.”
Base Commander Colonel John Patterson said that the most important thing the USO does for the military is boost their morale. He said it's the services they supply to airmen whether they're deploying or returning home.
"It's that piece of Americana that's represented overseas,” he adds.
The USO also has a program called “Tickets For Troops.” Tickets for events and concerts are donated to the organization, and the USO makes sure they get to the men and women of the military.
The group also provides activities for children of servicemen and women with cooperation from local communities.
Last year the USO served more than 330,000 servicemen, women and their families around the world at 160 locations. Five of those centers are located in Illinois.