Through Countless Moves and Transitions, Military Spouses can Always Count on the USO

Military spouses play a critical role in not only taking care of things while their loved ones are deployed, but also in providing a backbone of support and care during the tough times.

No matter where they travel to, or the locations they are stationed at, be it Fort Drum, NY, Italy or Fort Campbell, Ky, the USO is always there to support our military spouses and their families.

For one spouse at Fort Campbell, Ky., the USO has been with her and her family for over 19 years, helping them endure eight Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves during their time in service together.

“When traveling with four small children, the ability to have a place to sit, watch movies, grab a snack or meal – it’s lifesaving, especially on international flights and PCSing overseas,” said Riann Doyle, a military spouse at Fort Campbell, Ky, and Trinity, N.C., native.

Once at their new location, the USO provides service members and their families much more than just food and snacks items. At every USO center throughout the world, there is access to computers for printing documents required during a transition, programming to entertain kids and meet new families, and welcoming staff and volunteers to have a place to hang out.

When asked what she would share about the USO with young military spouses who just moved to their first-ever duty station, Doyle responded:

“The USO is more than just a place to get snacks, use WIFI or play video games. One of the first things you should do with every PCS is to ‘like’ the local USO Facebook page. You will find that they do so much for the local community. Free meals, deployment and redeployment bags, job hunting and resume services for spouses and transitioning soldiers, holiday support, free activities and giveaways for kids – it is honestly mind-blowing all they do,” explained Doyle.

The USO’s military spouse programs also help to strengthen military spouses by connecting them to their social, professional and community networks.

Military spouses can utilize the USO Pathfinder® Transition Program, which offers one-on-one training and a personalized job search plan from a USO Transition Specialist. USO staff can even help spouses find education opportunities and resources for financial coaching and more.

“During the pandemic of 2020, we participated heavily in Fort Campbell’s Warrior Summer and their Goosechase competition, giving us fun, family friendly activities to do that we would have either never known about or could afford,” said Doyle. “I’ve also used the Pathfinder services to improve my resume, as well as obtain a seasonal internship with the Tennessee Titans – a life changing opportunity.”

When asked what makes the USO special to you, here’s what some of our Fort Campbell spouses had to say.

“The USO will always be a place to help in times of need, as well as just a place to go to sit and relax. The USO is a constant that military families can count on for assistance. And if they cannot help, they will go out of their way to find someone who can,” said Doyle.

Jessica Woodruff, a military spouse and mother of three also living at Fort Campbell shared the same sentiments. “Last year we experienced a few emergencies while my husband was deployed, and the USO really helped us out,” said Woodruff.

Military spouses are essential to the strength of our nation. On Military Spouse Appreciation Day, we honor the contributions and sacrifices made by military spouses in supporting their military families.

- USO Staffer Sarah Kemp contributed to this article.

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