USO for the Troops Highlights Organization’s Impact
The USO is celebrating its 75th anniversary and, as the needs of our veterans and their families have changed, so have the efforts of the USO. Today the organization is as much about Honor Guard support and programs for families as it is about entertainment and services for service men and women deployed around the country.
In honor of the organization’s milestone anniversary, we’ll be airing USO – For the Troops at 9pm Monday, November 7, on ThinkTV16 and CET.
Produced by Partisan Pictures and directed by Peter Schnall, USO – For the Troops examines the history of the USO, which was formed in 1941 by President Roosevelt, who consolidated the functions of six separate groups into the United Service Organizations (USO). The story of the USO and how it has kept military service personnel connected to family, home and country for more than seven decades is told against the backdrop of a recent USO tour that spanned seven countries in eight days.
This film offers unprecedented access to the background operations that make it possible for celebrities to travel across the world to meet and perform for active duty troops. Interviews with celebrities who have been on USO tours, including Jon Stewart, Jay Leno, Ann-Margret, Raquel Welch, Connie Stevens, country singer Craig Morgan, NFL player Charles Tillman, Miss America Betty Cantrell and others, are interspersed with moving first-person accounts. The film also includes interviews from current and former veterans, historians who discuss the USO’s mission and the often-complicated cultural context within which they work, and comments from USO leaders as well as American leaders like former President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
From Joint Base Elmendorf in Alaska to the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center in Iraq, from performances on stage to overnight flights in the belly of a C-130 transport plane, the film showcases the fast pace, excitement, and complex logistics of a modern USO tour. Archival footage of classic celebrity performances from WWII to the current day is interspersed throughout the documentary, providing viewers with new insights into intersections among American culture, warfare and the USO.
Watch the preview for USO – For the Troops as well as other video clips and features here: http://video.thinktv.org/show/uso-for-the-troops/.