AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than 100,000 U.S. troops have been deployed and stationed within Europe following Russia’s first attacks against Ukraine in February, according to the United Services Organizations.
“About an additional 20,000 have been rotating through Eastern Europe,” said J.D. Crouch, the CEO and President of USO.
Crouch recently returned from visiting troops in Eastern Europe.
“They’re deployed out in very remote locations, living in tents, you know, minimal amenities. It’s going to be a long, cold winter for those service members who are deployed over there. That’s where the USO comes in.”
Since 1941, the USO has been supporting military members with entertainment and warm meals during the holidays along with connecting service members overseas with family back home.
“One of my favorite programs is somebody who can read a good night story to their loved one back home, or we’ll make sure that that tape and that book gets into the hands of that child, so they can see daddy or mommy,” said Crouch.
A recent survey done in part by the USO found many Americans do not know a lot about service members in Eastern Europe, but 86% of people polled said servicemembers deployed overseas deserve the support of the American people.
“You can volunteer, you can provide resources. There’s a lot of information on our website about that,” said Crouch. “And if you see a service member at the airport this year, go up and say hello, thank them for their service, talk to them. You’ll be very proud of the person you meet.”
To donate or volunteer for the USO, head over to its website.