The USO (United Service Organizations) was formed in the early days of WW2 by combining the various groups that were trying to support military personnel and their families. They've been active behind the scenes ever since, helping members of the military in a variety of ways, and helping their families back home. The public might not be well aware of them but military personnel and their families certainly are. USO Clubs in foreign bases were, and I'm sure still are, a favorite place for a little R&R and a touch of home.
Last evening I attended a fundraiser for the Ohio USO at the Sheffield, OH Quaker Steak & Lube. These are wonderful theme restaurants (the theme being motorcycles and cars) that are very popular everywhere they exist. If you're into the internal combustion engine you'll love these restaurants. They have motorcycles suspended from the ceiling, cars parked on stands inside and outside, and too many automotive odds and ends decorating the walls to count.
Last evening's event was threatened all day by passing storms but the sky finally mostly cleared by 8:00 when Darryl Worley, the featured performer, got on the outdoor stage. Darryl has performed in Iraq for the troops six times, I believe. This makes him very popular not only with those who love his music overall (country genre) but especially those who are in some way connected with the armed forces - usually via a family member in the military.
Even though most people had to drive their 4-wheeled cage rather than their bikes, it was clear that a good time was had by all as evidenced by the large bustling crowd being very merry with food and drink. The waitresses, cooks, and other workers really earned their money!
The Marines and Air Force had displays that were very popular with those in attendance, and the young men (I didn't see any servicewomen present) were fine examples of some of our best and bravest.
So keep these young men and women in your prayers - remember they're out there for us, on our behalf, doing the hard work that most of us aren't in a position to do.
(BTW - a large Bike For America event is being planned for August 2010 in Columbus, OH. Stay tuned for more information; this is an event that bikers and military folks won't want to miss)