Saturday, December 25, 2010

The USO: Providing Christmas Cheer To Our Troops Since 1941


In 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt requested that an organization be founded to provide entertainment and morale for our troops. And some patriotic entertainers such as Bob Hope immediately stepped up and selflessly volunteered his time for 50 years doing free shows.


Despite shows during WWII, Korea, Vietnam and more, Bob Hope actually found a 1990 show that he did to honor the Gulf War troops to be the most challenging of any because of the strictly religious Saudi government. The U.S. State Department carefully monitored his jokes placing heavy censorship restrictions on content. And because women were not allowed to seen in public without veils, female performers such as Ann Jillian, Marie Osmond and the Pointer Sisters could not perform in the show, and had to stay home. Yet, Bob Hope did his best to make the USO tour as memorable as possible for the troops.


In recent times, entertainers as diverse as Kid Rock, Rose McGowan, Robert Patrick, Robin Williams, Jack Black, Jason Biggs, Gary Trudeau, Stephen Colbert, Avenged Sevenfold, Dane Cook, Ben Stiller, The Killers, Rascal Flatts and many, many more, representing all political views and both political parties, were more than willing to come together as volunteers to make Christmas more enjoyable for our troops.

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