"another U.S.O. troupe came that same afternoon"

Bob Hope entertaining soldiers in World War II, 1944
Public DomainBob Hope entertaining soldiers in World War II, 1944
U.S.O. stands for “United Service Organizations Inc.” a private nonprofit outfit that furnishes the U.S. military with entertainment and recreation services. It was founded in 1941 at the request of President Franklin Roosevelt who served as its first honorary chairman.

Six civilian organizations -- the Salvation Army, the Young Men’s Christian Assocation (YMCA), the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), the National Catholic Community Service, the National Travelers Aid Association, and the National Jewish Welfare Board -- came together to support the troops. They opened USO centers and clubs around the world to serve as a “Home Away From Home” for the soldiers, and brought celebrities such as Bing Crosby, the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, and most famously, Bob Hope, renowned for his USO work from the Second World War through the First Persian Gulf War.

Today there are 160 USO centers in operation around the world. The organization’s nearly $150 million annual budget (as of 2006) comes mostly from in-kind contributions, public donations, and corporate giving.