The USO Supports First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s Initiative To Strengthen Military Families:  Joining Forces

Americans are encouraged to send messages of thanks and create local communities of care for troops and their families 

ARLINGTON, Va. (April 12, 2011) — The USO announces today its support of Joining Forces, the First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s initiative to strengthen military families nationwide.  The USO joins the White House and the ranks of citizens, communities, businesses, nonprofits, faith based institutions, philanthropic organizations and government to lead in the effort to strengthen military support in local communities and educate Americans about the challenges and sacrifices our troops and families face.

The Joining Forces initiative, which focuses on education, employment and wellness, comes at a critical time.  Today, military families are enduring the stresses of multiple deployments, coping with visible and invisible wounds of war and struggling with the grief accompanying the loss of a loved one.  The USO’s broad reach and reputation have allowed us to meet the changing needs of troops and their families and offer a comprehensive array of programs around the world that troops and families have grown to trust. 

“For 70 years, the USO has been hard at work lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families serving around the world,” said Sloan Gibson, President of the USO.   “We’re delighted to support the Joining Forces initiative and continue to educate Americans about the key issues facing military families- education, employment and wellness.  The USO applauds the White House and encourages all American’s to take action and make a meaningful difference for our military families.”

The USO will foster the Joining Forces initiative by motivating Americans go to its website,, to:

  • Send Messages of Thanks
    • Collect and pass along powerful messages of gratitude to our nation's military families.
  • Find Ways to Connect and Volunteer
    • Visit to learn about the many volunteer opportunities in your area that you can participate in to support military families.
  • Share Stories of Support
    • There are many ways you can support a military family in your local community. Share your story of support.
  • Learn and Partake in USO Military Families Programs
    • See how the USO provides comfort and support to our military's families.

On Thursday, April 14th First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will host a Joining Forces rally in Columbus, Ohio and premier the new installment of the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families. This live character Sesame Street show is the first-ever traveling USO tour designed specifically for military families, and the longest-running tour in USO history.  The show is based on Sesame Workshop’s award winning Talk, Listen, Connect initiative and this performance will debut a brand new character designed exclusively for the USO tour, as well as a new theme, look and music to connect with military families and kids of all ages. The tour is expected to reach military families stationed in ten countries over the next six months.

To learn more about Joining Forces please visit, which gives information on the initiative and serves as a way to find and submit stories and messages of thanks.

Gayle Fishel


About the USO

The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide.  We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops and their families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.

The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. We rely on the generosity of our volunteers and donors.  In addition to individual donors and other corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners: American Airlines, AT&T Inc., BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381).  To join us in this patriotic mission and to learn more about the USO, please visit


About Us

Millions of times each year at thousands of locations around the world, the USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families. A nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations to support its activities. The USO is not part of the U.S. government, but is recognized by the Department of Defense, Congress and President of the United States, who serves as Honorary Chairman of the USO.