For Service Members in the Southeast U.S., who couldn’t make it Home for the Holidays, the USO Brings Home to Them

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Sailors on security duty at Naval Station Mayport, in Jacksonville, Fla., received a special visit and holiday meal from Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Photo Courtesy - USO Greater Jacksonville Florida

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Young sailors and Marines stuck in the barracks at Naval Air Station Pensacola Fla., enjoyed a holiday weekend with sub sandwiches, card games, pizza and pool, and burgers and bingo at their local USO. Photo Courtesy - USO Northwest Florida

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Sailors stationed at Norfolk, Va., serving aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG-58) received USO goodie bags filled with holiday treats. Photo Courtesy - USS Laboon (DDG-58)

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Over 600 Marines conducting initial combat training at Camp Geiger, N.C., received hot chocolate, holiday cookies, and stockings stuffed with treats, delivered by the USO Southeast Region’s Mobile USO Unit. Photo Courtesy – USO North Carolina

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Over 600 Marines conducting initial combat training at Camp Geiger, N.C., received hot chocolate, holiday cookies, and stockings stuffed with treats, delivered by the USO Southeast Region’s Mobile USO Unit. Photo Courtesy – USO North Carolina

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Roughly 260 soldiers and trainees at Fort Jackson, S.C., experiencing their first holiday away from home enjoyed a weeklong holiday event filled with outdoor games, snacks and lunch. Photo Courtesy – 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment, Fort Jackson, S.C.

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Roughly 260 soldiers and trainees at Fort Jackson, S.C., experiencing their first holiday away from home enjoyed a weeklong holiday event filled with outdoor games, snacks and lunch. Photo Courtesy – 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment, Fort Jackson, S.C.

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Soldiers at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., were served a holiday feast graciously donated by the Gary Sinise Foundation. Photo Courtesy – USO Fort Stewart/HAAF

Although thousands of service members travel home for the holidays every year, there are many who remain behind at military installations due to assigned duties, personal circumstances or other reasons.

It can be hard for these dedicated service members to stay behind and continue answering the call to serve during this time of year, which is why the USO makes a special point to host festive events and meals to make them feel at home.

Delivering Holiday Cheer for Service Members Throughout the Southeastern U.S.

At USO centers and outreach locations on military training sites throughout the Southeastern United States, USO staff and volunteers work with local military installation leadership to deliver holiday treats – like hot chocolate, stockings stuffed with holiday goodies, delicious meals and plenty of joyous, holiday cheer – to service members who remain on duty.

Here’s a look at just some of the festivities that took place this year:

Florida

Last week, young sailors and Marines in the barracks at Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., enjoyed a holiday weekend celebration of sandwiches, shuffleboard, pizza, pool, burgers and bingo at their local USO.

Further east, sailors on security duty at Naval Station Mayport near Jacksonville received a special visit and holiday meal from Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, over 600 Marines conducting initial combat training at Camp Geiger got a special visit from the USO Southeast’s Mobile vehicle, which delivered hot chocolate, holiday cookies and stockings stuffed with treats.

Over in Fort Bragg, service members received energy drinks, snacks and stockings filled with holiday treats and goodies.

South Carolina

Further south, in Fort Jackson, S.C., roughly 260 service members enjoyed a week of holiday festivities filled with outdoor games, snacks and lunch.

Georgia

Soldiers at Fort Stewart, Ga., received holiday stockings and barracks bags filled with snacks and other items, while soldiers at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., were served a holiday feast graciously provided by the Gary Sinise Foundation.

Virginia

Further north, in Norfolk, Va., sailors serving aboard the USS Laboon received USO goodie bags filled with holiday treats.

Kentucky

At Fort Campbell, Ky., soldiers enjoyed a home-cooked holiday meal prepared by USO volunteers and staff.

The USO – with the help of volunteers, donors and partners – strengthens our military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, especially during the holiday season. Although our service members may be away from home for the holidays, the USO brings a little of home to them.

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