USO pivots to virtual programming for currently serving men and women
Volunteers sew bears for children and masks for military training
MILWAUKEE – The shift to social distancing has not curbed the activities of USO Wisconsin, a non-profit organization focused on strengthening the bonds for military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country.
Executive Director Josh Sova says, “We have dozens of USO volunteers sewing bears from old camo uniforms for children of deploying soldiers. They’re also crafting face masks for military training at Fort McCoy. In early April, we transitioned to daily virtual programming for military families, including spouse networking and a baby shower event in May.”
Sova adds there are unique challenges facing service members and their families during this pandemic at home and abroad right now.
“Some troops may be restricted to base and under precautionary quarantine unable to connect with family. Military families are separated from each other and some do not have the needed household or personal items that were already shipped overseas.
“There are military spouses, managing as a single parent with limited resources, trying to handle childcare closures and home schooling all without the help of a partner.”
More than 1,000 National Guardsmen and women have deployed to the hardest hit Wisconsin communities. Medics are helping civilians in isolation and senior living communities. They are involved in testing for COVID-19, and working to procure and distribute safety equipment and sanitizers, setting up hospital beds and assisting at food banks.
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