USO Provides a Home Away From Home at Camp Grayling

After a week and a half of intense training, these soldiers are getting some much needed R & R.

From movies, to football, and snacks — it’s all things you and i may take for granted, but it means a lot to the units. 

It’s all thanks to the USO’s Mobile Canteen.

They will be at Camp Grayling today and tomorrow, providing some fun for the soldiers who are there for training.

“When soldiers are deployed, they see the USO here and there depending on where they are, and they don’t get that kind of support.”

Cue the Mobile Canteen. Providing soldiers on the home front everything the USO has to offer.

The USO’s Mobile Program Manager, Courtney Anderson, explains, “It was important to tap into the National Guard soldiers. They are a resource that rarely gets to see the USO unless they are deployed or they travel through our airport centers.”

The USO’s Mobile Canteen has been on the move over the past two months, and now they’re at Camp Grayling, providing soldier’s with things the rest of us may take for granted.

“We have gaming equipment, we’ve got TV’s, relaxation, WiFi, everything that you would want to find. A canteen to make hot coffee! So we are just built to really to support wherever we can go.”

For soldiers, this is a time to unwind, socialize, and get back to a little bit of normalcy after a week and a half of pretty intense training.

“We put in 20-23 hour days, sometimes even around the clock. It’s nice just to be able to throw a ball around, have a couple snacks. The USO’s a great organization,” says Tim Bradburn of the 1/119th Field Artillery Regiment.

“We don’t really get to eat at all in the field, so to come out here, finally get to relax and be out of the rain, the heat, so it’s nice to actually have some good food in our stomachs,” agrees Dakota Lichner of the 1/119th Field Artillery Regiment.

The USO says it’s the least they can do, to say thanks to the men and women working hard to protect the USA.

“Here’s a chance for a little thank you. I think it’s great for them to come up here to northern Michigan and say look, you’re important to us.”

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National Guardsmen often spend weeks in remote locations that lack many of the comforts of home.

They often don’t have a place to relax or even grab a bite to eat. But one group is trying to change that.

Mobile USO, a USO Center on Wheels, has the ability to travel to these isolated areas and provide a home away from home for the men and women who do so much for our country.

The performing group, USO Show Troupe is at Camp Grayling to offer the National Guards some fun.

Meredith Barack is live with Colonel Thomas C. Perison at Camp Grayling.

For more information about the USO, head to their website