The USO Christmas Tour
The USO has been around since 1941, yet most people don’t know that it’s a private, non-profit organization. FDR gave his blessing to the group with the mission to boost the morale of U.S. military men and women by providing a “home away from home.” A place to go for dances and social events, for movies and music, for a quiet place to talk or write a letter home, or for a free cup of coffee and an egg.
Even though there are USO canteens throughout the world, the hallmark of the organization has always been the Camp Show – where Hollywood celebrities and entertainers take a little bit of “home” on the road.
Last week I was making a music CD of popular songs from Word War II for my dad and had the opportunity to listen to some great big band music from the 40’s. Lately Pop has been reminiscing about his time in England during the war. He has some great stories and many fond memories – even the sound of the V-2 rockets whizzing by and exploding. Not all memories were good. Pop gets a sad look in his eyes when he says “So many people were killed. So many.”
Anyway, my dad still talks about the USO and how great everyone associated with the organization was when they brought a little bit of America with them on tour. Bob Hope recruited all the stars from Hollywood to join him – including everyone’s favorite trio, the Andrews Sisters.
Enjoy the girls singing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B from the 1941 movie, Buck Privates: