The USO as an institution has been around for years. Since 1941
The USO was founded in 1941 in response to a request from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide morale and recreation services to U.S. uniformed military personnel. Roosevelt was elected as its honorary chairman. This request brought together six civilian organizations: the Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), National Catholic Community Service, National Travelers Aid Association and the National Jewish Welfare Board. They were brought together under one umbrella to support U.S. troops. Roosevelt said he wanted “these private organizations to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces.” According to historian Emily Yellin, “The government was to build the buildings and the USO was to raise private funds to carry out its main mission: boosting the morale of the military.” (this Wikipedia article is worth reading)
(as a matter of fact providing not just “entertainment” but centers around the world supporting troops. Earlier this fall, I mentioned the new building supporting the USO in Kandahar and that the one here in Bagram is across from the PAX terminal.
They have computers, they have phones for stateside morale calls. There are movies running 24 hours a day. Of course, these continually seem to be of the variety that require loud noises and a density of at least 10 swear/cuss words per 60 second interval. Acting is of the “say it louder” method of conveying information.
Did I mention WiFi? It is one of the few places left where you have to manually configure the connection and try different IPs till you find one which no one else is using What is even more impressive is the number of really neat people as anyone who has figured out how to get on the network helps the next person in line. Army, Air Force, Marines – it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Flight engineers helps grunts, meanwhile talking about what their families have done for the holidays. . I have been able to pull some smaller files.
A reward for me for finishing up all those awards, leaving only the D Dari to complete. (ignoring 3 meetings this afternoon). Holidays are over, at least till New Years.