USO Connection

Winter 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to the USO Connection — our supporter newsletters

Here, you can read about how your support makes an impact for those in need. We hope you enjoy these stories. Visit our website to learn how you can support the USO’s programs which are critical to our service members and their families.

A Father’s Accomplishments Lead to a Lasting Tribute

Why a daughter chose to honor her father by leaving a legacy to the USO.

Born on a farm during the Great Depression in Blackridge, Virginia, Mr. Ernest King was one of eight children. He was inducted into the U.S. Army on Nov. 24, 1942 during World War II and later served the Company K, 414th Infantry, 104th Division in the European Theater in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, where he was severely wounded on Nov. 17, 1944.

He was a highly-decorated veteran of World War II, having received the Combat Infantry Badge, the Good Conduct Medal, the European Theater Service Medal, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for gallantry in action and courage, bravery and supreme devotion to his comrades under fire. He personally paid an enormous price for our freedom and struggled with recovery throughout his lifetime, yet felt it was his duty to serve.

Ms. Lyndia R. King, his daughter, gifts a bequest to the USO as a lasting tribute in memory of her father, Earnest William King, to honor and celebrate his extraordinary life. Ms. King hopes that this soldier’s story will give inspiration to those men and women who defend our country and our freedoms, and that this gift will express her and her father’s heartfelt gratitude for their service and sacrifices that will never be forgotten.

To his family, Mr. King was truly a soldier for God and country: a humble, moral, genuine, honest, compassionate, righteous, honorable and extraordinary man who certainly left the world a much better place. Without question, he was a hero to many.

Staying Connected Through Reading

Three generations of a military family stay connected during deployment via the USO’s Reading Program.

The separation of deployment is of course difficult for service members as well. Now, no longer a military child but a service member himself, U.S. Army Pfc. Brandon Gonzales was one of the many American troops rapidly deployed to Eastern Europe in February 2022 in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in order to bolster support of our NATO allies. As a result, he has now spent months apart from his wife, Jenna, and almost 2-year-old daughter Natalie – with no return date confirmed yet.

 Research conducted through the Blue Star Families’ 2021 Military Family Lifestyle Survey found that the amount of time spent away from family was the leading issue affecting military families among active-duty, Reserve and National Guard respondents.

That is why bridging the distance between deployed service members and their loved ones is so crucial to boosting our military’s morale, and in keeping our nation’s military families strong. Luckily, the USO’s mission ensures just that, easing the sting of separation and connecting military families– quite literally – across generations.

Through the USO Reading Program, Brandon’s father was given the opportunity to record himself reading a book, and then have that recording and a copy of the book sent home to his son. Now Brandon can do the same with his daughter.

“The most special aspect of that video was seeing his face for the first time again in nearly a year, like he was there in person reading to me,” he said. “Like we were just having another father-son moment and I forgot momentarily about him being so far away” Brandon explains.

Brandon was incredibly excited to get involved with the program and record himself reading a book for his daughter Natalie, just as his father once did for him.

“This reading program was as full circle as it gets! I never imagined as a kid that I’d have a daughter of my own who I’d be reading a book to while on deployment. The most special thing is staying connected to your family by sending them a personal message, especially in a time when it’s not always possible to stay in contact with your loved ones.”

A Gift That Pays You Income

You can help service members draw strength from connecting to the things they love and fight for, while earning an income from your gift.

Charitable gift annuities (CGAs) offer a secure, fixed payment stream for yourself and/or a loved one for your lifetime(s). You will also receive tax benefits and the satisfaction of creating a lasting legacy through USO.


  • You donate cash or appreciated securities worth $10,000 or more to the USO. In return, you and/or another beneficiary will receive fixed payments for life.
  • A portion of your payments will be tax-free.
  • The older you are — or the longer you defer starting your payment — the higher your payments will be.


  • Lifetime payments that will never change.
  • Capital gains tax savings when you fund your CGA using appreciated stock.
  • You are eligible for an immediate charitable income tax deduction.
  • Your gift passes to USO outside of the estate process.
  • You create your legacy of connecting service members back to family, home and country.

USO Global Impact Report

The USO remains dedicated to expanding access to USO centers and programs worldwide, increasing annual service connections and boosting transition services for our service members and their families throughout their time of duty. In every corner of the world, our service members will know that the USO is always by their side.

Today’s service members need the care, comfort, connection and support that can only be provided by an organization that is with them at every point of their military journey, wherever they serve.

The USO remains dedicated to expanding access to USO centers and programs worldwide, increasing annual service connections and boosting transition services for our service members and their families throughout their time of duty. In every corner of the world, our service members will know that the USO is always by their side.

In our impact report we discuss:

  • The five foundational pillars of our Strategic Plan that will advance the USO in this ever-changing landscape.
  • Our global reach and how we are managing operations and providing strategic support for the military in more respective geographic areas.
  • Updates on the USO Indo-Pacific, USO Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA) and USO Stateside locations.
  • How we are delivering a boost of morale to help our service members and their families stay strong throughout their military journey.
  • And much more!

2021 Global Impact Report Digital

USO Support for the Ukraine Crisis

While tensions continue to arise between Russia and Ukraine, thousands of U.S. troops have been deployed throughout Eastern Europe in support of Ukraine. The USO is working hard to provide critical support to our troops responding to these events, but we need your generosity to continue these efforts. Your donation will help provide service members and their families around the world with the critical support they need now and into the future.

Visit to donate now!


The USO 1941 Legacy Society is a special group of supporters who have made a transformational commitment to changing the world. Members of this dedicated group of supporters are not only making a lasting impact on our mission, but are also eligible to receive invitations to special events, exclusive impact reports and recognition in our publications.

Request Free Information
About Making Your Impact