Military Spouses and the USO: Everything You Need to Know

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by Nicole Vogel

It feels like just yesterday when my husband and I embarked on our first assignment in Ramstein, Germany, back in 2009. At that time, I was a newlywed with little knowledge about the military lifestyle and had left my entire support system of family and friends in Ohio.  However, that quickly changed when I discovered an opportunity to work with the USO shortly after arriving at our new duty station. Ever since, I have been dedicated to creating and managing meaningful and impactful programs for military spouses and their families.

Like most young military spouses, I had little awareness about the USO, its 250 centers worldwide, and its purpose. But 14 years later, I can attest it is more than a destination, it’s a community for our service members and their families that provides opportunities to connect, relax, and recharge.

When you visit our centers, you’ll be warmly greeted by our dedicated USO staff and volunteers. They will gladly offer you a beverage and snack while sharing information about the extensive range of programs, entertainment, and services we provide. Allow me to share a few examples of the programs we offer specifically to support military spouses:

Use these free programs from the USO to make life a little easier as a military spouse.

Make Friends with USO Coffee Connections

USO Coffee Connections started in 2017 with the intent for military spouses to simply make friends.  Coffee Connections are hosted at over 90 USO centers worldwide and are a great way to make new connections (or find your emergency contact for school or child care, the best local hair dresser, recommended doctors in the area, etc.), learn more about the community you now live in, and get plugged into other USO programs and events for your entire family.

Expect Support During Your Pregnancy with USO Special Delivery

If you are expecting a baby, you’ll want to check out our USO Special Delivery® baby shower events.  Many USO locations host these events throughout the year, and we even host a monthly virtual celebration if you are unable to make it to one of our in-person events.  There are games, prizes, and lots of information sharing during these showers to ensure you feel celebrated during this very important milestone in your military family’s life.

Transition from the Military Well with USO Transition Program

I highly recommend you check out our USO Transition Program if you are looking for professional service support with education, employment, financial wellness, mentoring or increased access to relevant veteran resources.  This program provides military spouses and service members with personalized support with your very own USO Transition Specialist.  Through Individual Action Plans, you will have help staying on track with your goals for the future and assistance with direct connections and the best resources for your goals.  Whether the transition is through an installation PCS, a career change, or transition from the military, the USO can provide support as you settle into, or move out of, your community.

Travel in Comfort with USO Airport Centers

If you’re traveling for vacation or PCS’ing to a new location, make sure you stop by one of our USO Airport Centers.  These centers are an inviting and comfortable place where you can connect to the internet, make phone calls, have a snack, or put your feet up and relax during a busy day of travel.

If there’s one key takeaway I can provide you, it’s to get plugged into your local USO to see what various types of programs and events they have.  This organization has been around since 1941 and our dedicated USO staff and volunteers are here to ensure you are connected to your family and your community throughout your service to the nation.  If you want to receive weekly email updates from us, sign up and we’ll be in touch soon!

Nicole Vogel is a proud Air Force spouse, mom of two, and Senior Program Manager of Military Spouse and Family Programs at the USO.

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