The USO center located in the Charlotte Douglas International Airport continued its annual Exodus event for 2020. Each year, the USO in Charlotte, North Carolina hosts around 4,700 troops who have just finished Basic Combat Training at Fort. Jackson, South Carolina. During their 10 weeks away from family and friends’ soldiers are disciplined, motivated, and put through a series of mental and physical testing.
Unlike many high school or college courses, where you may have been in class studying around six hours a day, the Army trains for about 12-14 hours a day, 6 days a week. The USO’s mission is to strengthen America’s military by connecting them to family, home, and country. USO staff, volunteers, and partners all came together to host and greet the new recruits throughout the day as they began their journey back home for the holidays to be reunited with loved ones.
Although Covid-19 restrictions were in place, soldiers were still able to enjoy a warm welcome! The USO alongside its partners Paradies Lagardère, USAA, Lowes, BOMA, Dunkin Doughnuts, Pepsi Co, Frito-Lay, Lance, American Airlines, AT&T, Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets Foundation, Coca Cola, Coca Cola Bottling Co, Community Coffee, Delta Airlines, Duke Energy, Geico, Harris Teeter, LC Industries, Lending Tree Foundation, Lenovo, Marine Federal Credit Union, Matrix Frame USA, MetLife, Operation Supply Drop, Southport Graphics, UNC Health Care, Walmart, Wargaming.net, Wells Fargo Championship, WGU North Carolina, and Wyndham Championship, offered a variety of resources, essential items, food, drinks, gratitude gifts and hospitality for the traveling soldiers.
“*This is definitely a great feeling. After being away from my friends and family, it’s nice to be welcomed by the USO and its volunteers”. – PVT Smith
“This is the first time I have had Chocolate in 10 weeks”. – PVT Kelly
As we begin 2021, we look forward to continuing our virtual programming in combination with in-person events, ceremonies, and support for our service members and their families.
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