How the USO Helps Military Spouses
Service members give up a great deal when they join the US Armed Forces, but their partners – often termed “milspouses” – can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to support. The USO Milspouse Program has consistently come alongside milspouses to offer a broad range of services, and if you are a milspouse, you need to know about it!
Our family has benefitted in many ways from the support offered by the USO, and we are huge fans of the work they do. The USO has been working to care for military spouses since it began in 1941, but the official Milspouse Program was launched in 2016 as a more direct way to address the unique needs of partners.
What is the USO Milspouse Program?
The USO Milspouse Program is a worldwide initiative focusing on programs to strengthen and empower military spouses by connecting them to their social, professional, and community networks. There are a number of specific components to hone in on all the challenges faced by the military spouse community. The best way to stay up to date on all the newest projects is to join the USO Military Spouse Facebook Group, and sign up for the email newsletter. That way, you can quickly and easily be notified of all new information, plus connect with military spouses just like you!
Holiday Initiatives for the USO Milspouse Program
The holiday season is a busy one at the USO. This year, they created a ton of festive content for military spouses and their families. They kicked off the season by serving up a feast for the “Friendsgiving” edition of In the Kitchen with Chef Joel. They also joined members of the USO Military Spouse team, Nicole Vogel, and Liz Lee, for a special edition of Coffee Connection Live, where they talked about festive holiday traditions, big wins for 2021 and goals for 2022. During a time that can be especially challenging for service members, the USO works to provide additional seasonal hope and cheer!
USO Offers Networking Opportunities
One of the biggest challenges facing milspouses is lack of connection. Frequent moves make it difficult to establish roots in a community and access personal and professional resources. When milspouses can connect with one another, they can offer a ton of mutual support! The USO offers Coffee Connections, where spouses can meet up with other spouses in their local communities. Your incredible new best friend may be waiting for you at one of these events.
When it comes to career opportunities, milspouses can feel especially stuck. Again, frequent relocation can make work complicated, and making progress in a career path can be tough. The USO offers discovering Your Spark and Continuing Your Journey with Brittany Boccher to maintain a meaningful relationship and family connection (despite the distance of military life).
USO Offers Ways to Mark Special Moments
When mom or dad is stationed far away from friends and family – or sometimes even from each other during a deployment – the USO steps in to help to celebrate new life! The Special Delivery baby showers presented by Johnson & Johnson are a sweet way to mark an unforgettable moment.
The You’re Leaving…Again? series featuring Corie and Matt Weathers is a great way for military partners to focus on their marriage using tools from a couple in the game for 22 years. Matt and Corie have been working separately and together to support service members and their spouses through podcasts and workshops. You can access much of their materials on the website.
One of our favorite ways to help families stay connected through deployment is the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program. Parents can walk into a USO center wherever they’re stationed, choose a book to read, record themselves reading it, then the USO will ship the book and recording back home to their family. It’s the best way to be present at storytime throughout time zone differences!
How to Locate Your USO Center
One of the best ways to access all of the services offered by the USO is to locate your community USO center. They’re situated all over the world, and by establishing themselves in the local community, they are able to offer highly specific military programming for milspouses. It’s easy to find the center nearest you; just visit the USO website directory.
USO Offers New Networking Events
To stay up to date on new networking events in your area, plus any new programming offered by the USO Milspouse Program, make sure to sign up for the email newsletter and join the Facebook Group. No matter what; you’ll be notified. This incredible organization offers new content and ways to get involved all the time, so it’s absolutely worth keeping track of what they’re up to.
Appreciating the USO
We are so grateful for all the work done by the USO for service members and their families. Every year, this blog supports initiatives financially, like the T-Shirt Campaign and Trot for the Troops. We’re so excited when our readers get involved! Let us know which programs you have explored. As a milspouse myself, I have a heart for helping others get and stay connected, and put down roots wherever they find themselves. The USO has been such a huge help to our family in doing just that. Make sure you stay connected and discover all their help for you and your family!