Nonprofit News

Bob Hope USO

2021 was another challenging year for members of the military and their families and Bob Hope USO rose to that occasion as we always do! Although we were able to return to much more “normal” operations and programming during the year, the constant ebbs and flows of the COVID pandemic – and the ever-shifting rules surrounding it – tested our creativity, flexibility, and, sometimes, patience!

Despite all the challenges, we delivered the mission consistently and with a focus on creating impact throughout the year. It is incredibly gratifying to hear all the positive feedback we receive from military members and their families about how important our services are to them.

Highlights of some of our expansion efforts in 2021 included opening two new locations and adding a new staff member at Ft. Irwin, starting regular programming at Vandenberg Space Force Base, and adding a new staff member at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at 29 Palms. We also added two new vehicles to our fleet, enhancing our ability to serve the troops and families wherever they are, whenever they need us.


Coming into 2022 we maintain a high “ops tempo” serving the troops and their families across Southern California and beyond.

May is National Military Appreciation Month, this is a great time to find ways to get involved in supporting our military through the USO. Becoming a volunteer, donating individually, or having a business run a funding campaign during the month are all great ways to tie into this national month of appreciation.

Thank you for your ongoing interest and support. If you would ever like to come to see our team in action as we serve the troops, please feel free to reach out to me and we will find an opportunity that I am sure you will enjoy!

Best Regards,

David H. Thorson

Interim Executive Director

Regional Director of Operations

Did you know that Bob Hope USO Orange County serves predominately National Guardsmen and their families? Because of this special relationship, Bob Hope USO Orange County was honored to celebrate the National Guard’s 385th birthday with the guardsmen at Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos. They provided a delicious barbecue lunch and participated in a cake-cutting ceremony.

The National Guard at JFTB Los Alamitos has been activated multiple times during the last two years to support the Covid-19 mission and civil unrest and wildfires. We are thankful for the National Guard and all they do to keep our communities safe, and there’s no better way to show our appreciation than through celebrating their birthday alongside them.

When soldiers go to Fort Irwin for training at the National Training Center, Bob Hope USO serves the soldiers from the moment they set foot in California until they leave. Volunteers greet the soldiers with hot dogs and snacks when they get off their planes. Once they finish training at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin volunteers open the center for rotational units to relax and play games in their facility before heading home.

When the training is complete, the Bob Hope USO volunteers send the team off with snacks and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the flight home. Visiting Fort Irwin is often dreaded by soldiers because it is intense training in the unforgiving desert elements, but Bob Hope USO is there to make their experience more enjoyable.

While most people get time off for the holidays, this is when the team at LAX has their busiest season of the year. Volunteers and staff are ready to greet the thousands of military and their families traveling home for the holidays. Holiday travel is often met with long layovers, delays, and other stressful situations, but Team LAX was there to greet travelers with a hot cup of coffee and snacks while they wait to spend much desired time with their families.

When busses arrive from TwentyNine Palms or Camp Pendleton, the center is filled with hundreds of Marines, and that is when the center comes to life. During the holiday season, LAX had over 6,000 visitors, double the number of visitors they had for the 2020 holidays.

Many families have holiday traditions, and so does the Bob Hope USO at Palm Springs International Airport. Their favorite holiday tradition is Parking Lot Pancakes for the Marines going home for the holidays from TwentyNine Palms. Volunteers arrive in the early morning hours to start the grills, prepare the batter, and cook hundreds of pancakes for the Marines excited to see their friends and family.

When Marines get off the busses, they are greeted by the smiling faces of USO volunteers and treated to top-tier USO hospitality as they enjoy pancakes before their trip home. This year, volunteers served 450 Marines.

As Bob Hope USO expands to serve remote bases throughout Central and Southern California, they can now include Naval Air Weapon Station China Lake in their outreach. Every year, the USO delivers special holiday care packages to deployed and remote service members working during the holidays. Bob Hope USO shared this support during the holidays with the single sailors at China Lake.

This helped boost morale over the holidays, and the sailors enjoyed some fun treats and branded items from donors. The outreach team is excited to continue growing this relationship and deliver support to the sailors and their families in the desert at China Lake.

Every year, the USO honors one enlisted service member from each military branch for something they have done, going above and beyond the call of duty. Bob Hope USO was honored to recognize Petty Office Third Class Gerrod Britton as the USO 2021 Coast Guardsman of the Year.

PO3 Britton is stationed at USCG Station Morro Bay in Central California. One day he was driving on the 101 Freeway while off duty and saved three individuals from a burning car on the side of the road. Because of his bravery, his commanding officers nominated him for this award. It was an honor to celebrate PO3 Britton’s lifesaving actions with his friends and family.

Learn more about the USO Service Members of the year at:

Volunteers are our greatest asset and the backbone of the USO. Whether helping a soldier with a connecting flight, distributing a Care Package, serving snacks with a smile, providing local information, or “welcoming home” troops from deployment, volunteers are vital to the success of the USO’s mission.

While the duties of a volunteer may vary, the goal is always the same – to improve the quality of life of service members, boost their morale, and serve as the link between service members and the American people.

Ready to apply to be a Bob Hope USO volunteer?

Visit Once you navigate to the webpage, click on “Volunteer at a USO Center,” then click “Continental United States.” Next select “California” and then the Bob Hope USO center nearest to you!

LA Fleet Week is an annual, multi-day celebration of our nation’s Sea Services held on the LA Waterfront at the Port of Los Angeles on May 23-30, 2022. It includes military equipment demonstrations, educational activities, live entertainment, and more.

Bob Hope USO is proud to be a significant partner of LA Fleet Week, honoring our nation’s Sea Services at the Port of Los Angeles. Throughout Fleet Week, Bob Hope USO creates a Satellite Center that provides nearly 8,000 service instances each year, including thousands of free meals and refreshments and entertainment, concerts, and excursions in the Los Angeles community to hundreds Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen.

At the USO Military Lounge, each service member experiences classic Bob Hope USO hospitality with a special touch of Los Angeles gratitude from our Bob Hope USO volunteers and corporate partners.

Spring 2022 – Fort Irwin Grand Opening
March 22 – Palm Springs Volunteer Appreciation
April 2022 – Volunteer Appreciation Month
April 9 – Inland Empire Volunteer Appreciation
April 30 – Orange County Volunteer Appreciation
May 23-30 – LA Fleet Week

The USO 1941 Legacy Society

The USO 1941 Legacy Society recognizes those friends of the USO who make a gift through a will, trust or other estate plans to continue the USO’s long tradition of connecting service members back to family, home, and country.

The generosity, dedication, and patriotism of our 1941 Legacy Society members allow the USO to continue its mission. We deliver critical programs and services that promote a healthy, resilient, confident, and prepared military as our dedicated service members continue to deploy far from their communities and family.

Among the benefits of membership include:

  • Exclusive invitations to VIP events
  • Exclusive invitations to USO educational and programmatic seminars
  • Recognition on the USO’s planned giving website
  • Subscription to the USO eNewsletter
  • Special USO Legacy Society pin

You can join by completing the USO 1941 Legacy Society pledge form.

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