Entries in USO (2)


USO Fundraises to Salvage Fleet Week

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Richard M. Wolff(NEW YORK) -- It’s not the Air Force holding a bake sale to buy a bomber, but the United Services Organization is holding a fundraiser to keep Fleet Week afloat after it was torpedoed by sequester cuts.

The USO sent out its fundraising pitch email this week.

In light of across-the-board spending cuts mandated in the sequester, the Defense Department has said the Armed Forces cannot spend money on outreach opportunities like Fleet Week, the time each May when members of the Marines, Navy and the Coast Guard come ashore in coastal cities to celebrate with civilians and give shows to the public. The event was originally scheduled for the week of Memorial Day.

“Will we allow this opportunity to demonstrate America’s support of our men and women in uniform pass us by?” retired Col. Jack Jacobs asked readers in the email for the USO. “Not on our watch!”

The email pledges that the organization will “keep the spirit of Fleet Week alive” and “make our military appreciation and Memorial Day events better than ever before.”

“Although the sequester has created a large gap to close, with YOUR help – we can do it!” Jacobs wrote.

USO of Metropolitan New York hopes to raise $75,000 in donations to host events between Armed Forces Day and the week of Memorial Day.

Supporting the troops and military families is a year-round endeavor that involves hundreds of events annually, according to Gayle Fishel, director of media relations for the USO.

“While we do not know what events are tied to sequestration, it is clear that today’s environment makes the services and programs that the USO provides even more important,” Fishel told ABC News in an email Wednesday. “Fleet Week in New York City is one of the many ways, and an important way, we support the troops and families and continue to be always by their side.”

The Navy and Air Force both cancelled all shows for their flight demonstration teams, the Blue Angels and the Thunder Birds, for the rest of the fiscal year, citing sequestration as the cause for the cuts.

Fort Bragg, a major American Army base in North Carolina, was forced to cancel its Independence Day celebration because of the cuts as well.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Michelle Obama Rallies Women Voters

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- First lady Michelle Obama, accompanied by Dr. Jill Biden, rallied women voters on the closing day of the Democratic National Convention, prodding them to work hard this election to ensure her husband is re-elected and highlighting their efforts to advance women’s rights.

“The values we are talking about are ones we all hold dear.  That hard work should be rewarded. That’s how we were raised. Everyone in this country has something special and valuable and that we should all have a fair chance to succeed if we’re willing to put that work in, which we are,” Michelle Obama said at the women’s caucus meeting. “There are women all over this country who are doing that work, playing that critical role in making that vision a reality because we have to work for that vision women.  It just doesn’t happen.”

“We can’t go back and fight the same battles we fought,” Dr. Jill Biden told the group.  “We’ve been fighting them for years and even decades and believe me, I’m old enough that I know those fights in the 60’s.”

Mrs. Obama explained her husband’s dedication to women’s issues saying, “my husband and his partner Joe Biden have had our backs as women every single day.”

“He will keep fighting every single day to ensure all of our daughters have no limits to their dreams.  That’s over.  That there are no second class citizens in our work place, that’s got to be over. That we as women can make our own decisions about our bodies and about our healthcare, that’s over,” the first lady said.  

As her husband prepares to address the convention Thursday evening, Mrs. Obama asserted that the week in Charlotte has been a success and noted “President Clinton did a phenomenal job” with his speech Wednesday night.

“I don’t know about all of you, but I think we have had a pretty amazing week here in Charlotte,” Mrs. Obama said. “And from the energy and enthusiasm we’re seeing, not just in the caucuses but in the streets — it’s just palpable. It’s so clear that people are fired up.”

Mrs. Obama asked everyone to prepare for the months ahead urging the crowd to “rest yourselves because I’m going to ask you to do some work,” and encouraged them to recruit their friends, donate to the campaign, and volunteer, especially in battleground states.

“If you don’t live in a battleground state, get to one. We all live near a battleground state, but we don’t live in one. Look around, this election is going to be won in those battleground states,” Mrs. Obama said. “This one could come down to those last few thousand votes in a single battleground states.”

“When you get up from those chairs and you walk out that room, the work begins . It continues for so many of us, but for some of us, it will begin,” Mrs. Obama said. “Do you understand the charge? Are you really fired up about the charge? Are you feeling ready to go about the charge? Because if you haven’t noticed, I’m pretty fired up and ready to go myself.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio