Your USO at Work: October 2015 — 8 Ways the USO Connects Troops To Home


Here’s How the USO Keeps Service Members Connected to the People and Places They Love

From the moment they step into boot camp to the time they transition back to civilian life, troops rely on the USO to help them stay connected to their friends and family. Here are eight ways the USO does it.

1. Getting troops online: Free Internet access is one of the most popular services at USO centers today. While some USO centers offer computers for troops to use, nearly all of them offer free Wi-Fi for people who bring their own devices. Even our Mobile USO units are Wi-Fi enabled so troops serving in remote locations can get online.

2. Skyping into the delivery room: Did you know that the USO helps expecting military dads Skype into the delivery room for their baby’s birth, even if they’re abroad? Marine Capt. Nick Whitefield used this USO service when his wife Laura delivered the couple’s second child, Ethan Whitefield, via a USO-provided Skype connection at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.

3. Free phone calls home: In 2003, the USO launched Operation Phone Home to provide troops with free phone cards so they can call their loved ones at no cost – even when they’re in remote locations. Some USO centers abroad also offer troops access to a private phone network so they can call home on a safe, secure and reliable line inside the center.

4. Keeping story time alive: Thanks to the USO’s partnership with United Through Reading, deployed troops can record themselves reading a children’s book at a USO center and send the DVD recording back home for their kids to watch and digitally connect with them in their absence.

5. Giving the gift of gaming: Video games are one of our younger service members’ favorite ways to unwind. That’s why most USO centers have gaming stations featuring popular video games like “Call of Duty” and “Halo.” At some centers, service members can even play the games against friends and family around the globe online in real time.

But troops aren’t always stationed near brick-and-mortar USO centers. With that in mind, the USO developed the Mobile Entertainment Gaming System (MEGS) so service members can enjoy video games no matter their location.

6. Serving up comfort foods from home: Sometimes all it takes to make service members feel connected to home is a taste of their favorite foods. That’s why USO patrons can always find a variety of snack, drink and meal options at centers around the world. Some centers, like USO Great Lakes, provide free, home-cooked meals for troops, while others, like many Southwest Asia centers, always seem to be churning out comforting sweet treats like homemade ice cream.

7. Bringing the holidays to troops abroad: Being deployed during a special holiday can make troops feel even further from home. That’s why many USO centers host a number of special parties and events around those red calendar days.

8. Welcoming troops home: Even though a homecoming is already a joyful occasion for military families, the USO has a history of stepping in to make the day even more memorable. From helping arriving troops freshen up before reuniting with their loved ones to coordinating surprise homecomings, the USO there to celebrate military families finally reconnecting after a long deployment apart.

Visit to help keep America’s military members connected to the comforts of home.

USO and SiriusXM Bring ‘The Highway’ to Troops in Alaska

Storme Warren took his SiriusXM show and fellow USO tour veterans Rodney Atkins and The Swon Brothers with him on the road to Alaska.

Usually a host on The Highway, SiriusXM’s flagship channel for new country music, Warren emceed USO concerts at Eielson Air Force Base, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and U.S. Coast Guard Base Kodiak during the weeklong tour. He also broadcasted exclusive behind-the-scenes commentary from the military installations on The Highway.

“My goal in putting together this year’s trip to Alaska was to not only lift the spirits of troops and their families, but also bring that rich USO experience directly to our SiriusXM listeners in hopes of shedding light [on] the important work our troops and military families do for us back home,” Warren said.

The Swon Brothers and Atkins welcomed the opportunity to express their gratitude. “The sacrifices our service men and women in uniform make for us each and every day are great and anything we can do to say ‘thank you’ or show our appreciation, we are there,” Zach Swon said.

USO Expands its Mission to Military Entrance Processing Stations

A recruit’s first few days in the military can be tedious.

From the moment they enter the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), most recruits sit through aptitude testing, medical screening and job selection that sets the path for their military careers. Between these steps, there’s little to do but sit around or read. It’s a day begging for a distraction, so the USO is providing some entertainment to break the monotony.

Recruits starting their military journeys take advantage of the amenities offered at the USO center inside the San Antonio Military Entrance Processing Station. USO photo

Recruits starting their military journeys take advantage of the amenities offered at the USO center inside the San Antonio Military Entrance Processing Station. USO photo

The USO is opening new centers inside several MEPS around the United States in 2015. It’s part of the organization’s commitment to support service members and their families through their military careers. These new centers, which will feature entertainment like televisions, video games, snacks and support services, are aimed at comforting recruits and their families during the entrance process. They also introduce recruits and families to the services the USO offers.

The USO plans to open centers inside eight MEPS this year in addition to the six that are already serving new recruits in Columbus, Ohio, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Milwaukee and Fort Lee, Virginia.

The USO and RP/6 are Showing Transitioning Troops the Way Forward 

Even the most experienced soldier can use a hand when leaving the Army.

“After 28 years I was certain that I had this whole thing down,” said retired Army Sgt. Maj. Lee Baleme, now an RP/6 Fellow. “It was an eye-opening experience to think that I was going to make that transition — smoothly — and then realize that I wasn’t.”

RP/6, part of the new USO Transition 360 Alliance, connects service members and their families with resources and organizations in their community that support their transition. This approach incorporates several USO Transition 360 Alliance partners (including Hire Heroes USAStronger Families and the Comfort Crew for Military Kids) in an effort to cover both the personal and professional issues military families face when moving to the civilian world.

The USO plans to incorporate RP/6 services at some of its stateside locations in the near future.

“[Veterans and transitioning military] can come [to RP/6] and find that person [who] will point them in the direction of the resources that they need,” Baleme said. “From housing issues to employment, school and even family issues, transition from active duty to the civilian has never been an easy nut to crack and I think RP/6 found a great partner in the USO.”

Belgard Hardscapes’ Campaign Helps Welcome Troops Home

Belgard Hardscapes knows what it means to make a house a home, and through its new partnership with the USO, the company is extending a warm message of gratitude and appreciation to service members across the country.

BELGARD-LOGOThe company’s Welcome Home giving initiative runs through Veterans Day and it’s your chance to support our military and beautify your home at the same time. From now until Nov. 11, Belgard, a leading provider of interlocking pavers, paving stone and wall products, will donate $100 to the USO for every patio, driveway or walkway installed. The company aims to provide up to $150,000 in both financial donations and in-kind services to the USO.

“To those who put their lives on the line to defend our country, and the family members who sacrifice so much in their absence, we want to express our sincerest thank you,” said Jackie Paulsen, marketing director of Belgard Hardscapes.

Visit to learn more about Belgard’s Welcome Home initiative.

USO Center in Kuwait Desert is an Oasis for Deployed Troops

Lisa Choi started working at the USO in 2011, but that wasn’t her introduction to the organization. Choi, now a duty manager at USO Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, was a USO volunteer before signing on full time.

Lisa Choi, a duty manager at USO Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, said her role at the center helped her become a “jack of all trades.” USO photo

Lisa Choi, a duty manager at USO Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, said her role at the center helped her become a “jack of all trades.” USO photo

“I enjoyed helping out with the special events and programs [as a volunteer.] So when a job opportunity came up, I applied,” she said. “The job seemed like an interesting opportunity to [support] troops while experiencing the fruits of my labor directly and immediately.”

Choi, who grew up in a military family and lived in South Korea and Japan as a child, said the well-rounded work environment is the most enjoyable part of her job.

“You are constantly on your feet and interacting with people, she said. “Throughout all those interactions, you learn a little bit about everything and instantly become a jack of all trades.”

She’s also worked at USO Camp Walker near Daegu, South Korea, a city of 2.5 million. By comparison, the USO center on Camp Arifjan is an oasis in the middle of the desert. There are virtually no off-base entertainment options for service members, so the center is a hub of activity and social interaction.

“Many troops cannot leave base here,” she said. “The USO center is the main place where people come to kick back and relax.” The isolated-but-busy center allows service members to let loose in an environment where everyone is connected by service and separation from the people and places they love most.

“We offer a large variety of programs at Camp Arifjan and you’ll notice that military members here are more willing to partake in activities or programs that may be a bit out of their comfort zone,” Choi said.

Visit to help connect deployed service members to family, home and country.

‘Completely Committed’: Families Share Stories that Shaped this Year’s USO Honorees

The 2015 USO Service Members and Volunteers of the Year have several stories of selfless service.

The honorees at Tuesday’s USO Gala will be lauded for their lifesaving actions on the battlefield or for the extraordinary way they put themselves before others. But they also have compelling back stories that show how they got to this point. We asked their parents, friends and mentors to share stories about what the 2015 USO honorees were like before they joined the military. Here are three entries from what they sent us back.


Christian and Jessica Sheers. Courtesy photo

Spc. Christian Sheers, USO Soldier of the Year

Sheers, an Army combat medic, was selected as USO Soldier of the Year for actions earlier this year in Afghanistan, when he put his life on the line to save others and eliminate the threat during an April 8 surprise attack on a U.S. diplomatic delegation.

According to his mother, Cynthia Sheers, he’s been looking out for people from a young age.

“Christian’s father is an academic physician in Akron,” Cynthia Sheers wrote in a recent email. “As a child, when Dr. Sheers would round – or see patients in the hospital on the weekend – his sons would sometimes tag along. Christian had a special desire to help others. His interest in serving is illustrated by two anecdotes.

“As a small child, he once disappeared from where he was drawing at the nurses’ station while his father saw a patient in their room. Noticing his son was missing, Dr. Sheers went to the corridor and listened. He followed the sound of laughter, and found 3-year-old Christian tucked beside an 80-year-old patient in her bed, both laughing as she asked what he was doing in the hospital all alone. ‘Rounding’ was his answer.

Photo courtesy of the Sheers family

Photo courtesy of the Sheers family

“Several years later, Dr. Sheers would occasionally griddle pancakes for his office staff for breakfast. Hearing of this, a nurse asked why he had never cooked breakfast for the floor nurses. Knowing he was assigned to round on Christmas Day, he left with all three of his sons in tow at 4:30 a.m. and they provided pancakes, eggs and bacon for the appreciative staff on Christmas morning. What was supposed to be a one-time event, however, was not enough for Christian. The following year, he insisted that they repeat this act. This began a tradition of thanking the floor staff on the sixth floor at Akron Children’s Hospital for their service.

“As Christian began dating his wife, Jess, he dragged her along on Christmas morning. When he enlisted in the Army and arrived home on leave, he again returned to flip pancakes. This last year, prior to deployment [and despite struggling with a fever and pneumonia], he got up Christmas morning to go again. Only his wife and father’s plea that his attendance would actually put people at risk dissuaded him from attending his eighth Christmas breakfast in 10 years. Those nurses and staff have seen him grow from a boy ’rounding’ into a soldier serving.”

The Brantley family. Courtesy photo

The Brantley family. Courtesy photo

Senior Airman T.J. Brantley, USO Airman of the Year

Brantley was selected as the USO Airman of the year in part because of his actions in Afghanistan in May 2014 that saved the life of a wounded Army officer. But long before that, he was a kid in Muleshoe, Texas, who followed his heart.

“From early on when he received the principal’s award for taking care of a handicapped classmate to present he follows his heart,” Curby and Kay Lynn Brantley wrote in an email. “He can be as stubborn as they come or cry with the best of them. No matter what he does he is completely committed.

“T.J. received the Fighting Heart Award in athletics his senior year, not because he was the best athlete. It was the way he played every sport and the way he treated others. His actions on and off of the playing field made everyone realize there was just something special about him. …

“T.J attended over three years of college before he told us his life was not really going where he wanted to go. He had a girlfriend at the time and nearly a college degree, but there was something missing. He came to us on a Christmas Eve with the idea he would join the military and grow up. He joined and several months later he proposed to the love of his life, Staci.

“He always follows his heart, never worrying if things will be hard or not. He always knows that with hard work and a caring, tender and driven heart he will be OK. Soon to be parents, T.J. and Staci will have the opportunity to instill those same loving heats in their child.”

Eric Chun shortly after graduating basic training.

Eric Chun, center, is the USO’s 2015 Overseas Volunteer of the Year. Courtesy photo

Eric Chun, USO Overseas Volunteer of the Year

Chun, who recently entered military service, spent the last several years volunteering at USO Guam. To hear USO Guam Duty Manager Jadine Lujan tell it, he’s always been drawn to service.

“He is a soda stacking wizard, T-shirt rolling beast, cupcake connoisseur and champion of the crane game,” Lujan wrote in an email. “Of the many things that can describe Eric Chun, the most unforgettable impression he leaves is being someone you can always count on. He has been an incredible USO Guam supporter throughout his three years of volunteer service.

“Eric’s favorite way to spend his free time was volunteering for the USO and helping troops and families fall in love with the center and the island. He could listen to veterans tell stories and share experiences all day. There was never a task too small or too big for him to accomplish. He enjoyed being challenged and firmly believed that anything worth doing was worth doing right. He would find creative solutions to any issues and often volunteered to lead the most laborious tasks that he joked served as his PT. He was always courteous and always there whenever guests or fellow volunteers needed him most.”

Editor’s note: Family quotes slightly edited and condensed for style.

Mailing Something to Deployed Troops for the Holidays? The Postal Service Offers Guidelines and Discounts

Pfc. Lucero Garcia, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, works hard and long hours as a frontline Soldier and still at the end of her shift is able to put on a smile. The mail Garcia has received today is spirit lifting and a welcomed sight from family members back home sending to their loved one. Garcia is deployed with Bravo Company, 949th Brigade Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade Troops Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade in support of Multi-National Division Ð Baghdad.

Army file photo

Thousands of troops will still be deployed when the holidays get here. And if you want to send them care packages or gifts, you need to know the deadlines.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS)has issued delivery guidelines for when you should ship your package to make sure it gets to the recipient by Christmas.

According to a USPS release, the postal service will also offer discounts for packages sent to APO/FPO/DPO addresses. A special $15.90 rate will be applied to their largest Priority Mail Flat Rate box and $2 will be discounted off every other standard box shipment.

To ensure delivery by December 25, the postal service recommends the following:

  • Mail all Standard Post Packages by Nov. 7
  • Mail all PAL (Parcel Airlift Mail) by Dec. 3
  • Mail all SAM (Space Available Mail) by Nov. 25
  • Mail all PMEMS (Priority Mail Express Military Service) packages by Dec. 17
  • Mail First Class Letters, Cards and Priority Mail by Dec. 10 for all ZIPs except 093
  • For ZIP Codes 093, Mail First Class Letters, Cards and Priority Mail by Dec. 3

12 Facts You May Not Know About the Navy on its 240th Birthday

Sailors man the rails on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. Navy photo

Sailors man the rails on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. Navy photo

Steadfast to the bitter end, Navy tradition isn’t all rum punch and pollywogs. For its 240th Birthday, here are 12 things you may not know about the United States Navy:

1. Volunteering, then volunteering again

If you’re pulling duty on a submarine, it’s not by chance. Due to the claustrophobic and technical nature of the assignment, any Navy personnel serving on a submarine asked to do so.

2. The first admiral was …

David Farragut, who has a rich military history that spanned the War of 1812 and the Civil War, was the first admiral in the United States Navy. Some great Farragut trivia includes (1) joining the Navy at age 9, (2) being one of Abraham Lincoln’s pallbearers and (3) coining the famous quote “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”


3. Bravo Zulu means “well done”

Through World War II, sailors who did well were told “Tare Victor George,” which was code for “well done.” After the war, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed and it standardized communications. NATO created a system of B-flags for administrative communication. The last B-flag was BZ. The Allied Naval Signal Book created the phonetics for each letter and BZ became Bravo Zulu.

4. So explain gun salutes …

Sailors fire a 40 mm saluting cannon. Navy photo

Sailors fire a 40 mm saluting cannon. Navy photo

Often confused with the three-volley salute seen performed at military funerals, the 21-gun salute is a different ceremony entirely. Performed with cannons, the gun salute originates in the days of wooden ships and broadside cannons, when if a ship fired a volley in salute, it was powerless to defend itself for as long as 20 minutes while it reloaded the battery. When approaching ships fired a volley, shore batteries and forts would know the ship represented no threat. In time, this grew to become a gesture of respect, with both land and sea batteries firing odd-numbered volleys back and forth.

Today, the Secretary of the Navy has the final say on which ships and stations may fire gun salutes. A national salute of 21 guns is fired on Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day and to honor the President or heads of foreign states. Additionally, ships may — with approval from the office of the Secretary of the Navy — provide gun salutes for senior officers using the following protocol:

  • Admiral: 17 guns
  • Vice Admiral: 15 guns
  • Rear Admiral (upper half): 13 guns
  • Rear Admiral (lower half): 11 guns

All gun salutes are fired at five-second intervals and total an odd number.

5. Fouled anchors

CPO_collarIf an anchor is fouled, it means the line or chain is wrapped around the shank and fluke arms. This indicates the anchor is no longer suitable for use. These retired anchors are usually displayed for decorative purposes on base or in Navy communities. The symbol is also part of the Chief Petty Officer rank insignia. When used in body art, the fouled anchor represents a tour across the Atlantic Ocean.

6. The story behind the art

Though tattoos are discouraged in today’s Navy, sailors for hundreds of years tattooed themselves as souvenirs to show where they’d been and what they’d gone through. Here is a short (and far from comprehensive) list we collected from sources around the Web of imagery you may encounter among saltier sailors, along with what each item means.

  • Swallows: Home (each denotes 5,000 miles at sea)
  • Compass/Nautical Star: Never losing one’s way (each denotes 10,000 miles at sea)
  • Trident: Special warfare
  • Rose: A significant other left at home
  • Twin screws or props on one’s backside: Propels one forward through life
  • Rope: Deckhand
Octopus: Navy diver
  • Dolphin: Wards off sharks
  • Sharks: Rescue swimmer
  • Polar bear: Sailed the Arctic Circle
  • Dragon: Sailed the Pacific
  • Fouled anchor: Sailed the Atlantic
  • Turtle: Crossed the equator
  • Gold dragon: Crossed the International Dateline
  • Gold turtle: Crossed the International Dateline and the Equator where they intersect
  • Emerald fouled anchor: Crossed the Prime Meridian
  • Emerald turtle: Crossed the Prime Meridian and the Equator where they intersect
  • Full-rigged ship: Sailed around Cape Horn
  • Helm: Quartermaster
  • Pin-up girls: Company at sea/port call
  • Hula girls: Sailed to or ported in Hawaii
  • Dagger through a swallow: Signifies a lost comrade
  • Pig and chicken: Superstition to keep from drowning
  • The words “HOLD FAST”: Signifies a deckhand’s tight grip on the lines

7. Mind your Ps and Qs

Sure, you want to write your lowercase letters correctly, but this wasn’t originally a grammar warning. Instead, according to the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, it was a way of keeping bar bookkeepers — and their seafaring patrons — honest in waterfront taverns. In centuries past, sailors often had bar tabs on credit, with barkeepers making marks next to each patron’s name under P for pint and Q for quart. Minding one’s Ps and Qs meant both settling up and also staying somewhat sober as to keep an accurate count on what one had consumed.

8. The Civil War had a significant naval strategy component

It may have been the North against the South, but the Atlantic Ocean still came into play. The Union went into the war with a plan to blockade the Confederacy’s coastal ports while also advancing south via the Mississippi River.

9. A sign inside the camo

Navy tests a new lookMuch like the Marine Corps camouflage pattern upon which the Navy version was developed, Navy “digis,” as they are often called, have tiny Navy emblems printed inside the pattern. Next time you’re close to a sailor, see if you can spot one.

10. Tossing a Dixie Cover under the Bridge

For many a short-timer, crossing under the Coronado Bridge (or any other bridge near home port) marks a moment of reflection. Should the sailor stay in or get out? Because sailors are often superstitious, many leave the decision up to the sea, tossing their cover into the deep. If it floats, the sea is asking them to stay. If it sinks, it’s time to move on.

11. In the Navy there are no windows, walls or bathrooms

The Navy has rich diction, but don’t get it mixed up. Ships don’t have walls; they have bulkheads. They don’t have windows; they have portholes. Your left side is your port side and the right side is starboard. The mess deck is where you eat and the deck is where you walk. Above your head is an overhead, not a ceiling or roof. If you need a toilet, you will find that in the head, and the rack is where you sleep.

12. The Legend of Bill the Goat

United_State_Naval_Academy_Logo-sportsBill the Goat has been the Naval Academy mascot since the early 1900s. Legend has it that a Navy ship once had a goat for a pet, and on the way home to port the goat died. Two ensigns were entrusted to have the goat stuffed, but got distracted by a Naval Academy football game. One of the ensigns allegedly dressed up in the goatskin and pranced around at halftime. The crowd loved it and Navy won the game.

Longtime USO Supporter Gen. Martin E. Dempsey Says Goodbye to the Military

Outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey speaks at his retirement ceremony last week. DOD photo

Outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey speaks at his retirement ceremony last week. DOD photo


The USO said goodbye to one of its biggest champions last week when Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey retired after 41 years of service.

The Army general served a pair of two-year stints as the highest ranking officer in the military and went on several USO Chairman’s Tours during that assignment, bringing celebrities overseas during the winter holidays to lift the spirits of deployed troops. Dempsey’s final USO tour in December visited five countries in six days and included country star Kellie Pickler, comedian Rob Riggle, “Glee” co-star Dianna Agron, former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, “Suits” co-star Meghan Markle and Washington Nationals pitcher Doug Fister.

“In my dealings with the USO over the past few years, spearheading tours around the globe, I can confidently say that the USO is as helpful and comforting today as it was back [when I joined the Army],” Dempsey said at the time.

Dempsey also gave some of the most memorable speeches at recent USO galas, including a story relating how a USO volunteer helped him find his first duty station in Germany in 1970s and the memorable Irish Ditty he sang at last year’s event.

Did You Know? 11 Facts for the Air Force’s 68th Birthday

Air Force photo

Air Force photo

As the Air Force celebrates its 68th birthday, here’s 11 things you may not know about the youngest branch of America’s military.

1. Technically, Air Force One isn’t just one plane. The term Air Force One refers to any plane the commander in chief is traveling aboard. The White House currently has two customized Boeing 747-200B aircraft available specifically to transport the president.

2. The Air Force shares its birthday with the CIA. Both were founded on September 18, 1947.

Air Force photo

Air Force photo

3. The Air Force Memorial is one of the sneakily great places to get a view of downtown Washington. It’s tucked between the Pentagon and a large shopping mall. Rarely crowded, visitors can stand below the three spires and get a panoramic view of our nation’s capital.

4. Battle-hardened weathermen? Check. A hat-tip to Mental Floss for this nugget in a June story about how the Air Force sends Special Operations Weather Teams into the unfriendly skies to check out conditions before sending larger groups of aircraft into a region.

5. Airmen … on the ground: The Air Force is in charge of cyber security, an ever-expanding field in the new world of defense. They’re currently recruiting 6,000 cybersecurity personnel by 2017.

6. A “roof stomp” is an Air Force tradition where airmen welcome new commander or celebrate a special occasion by climbing up on the commander’s roof to make noise while others are bang on the windows and doors. The commander then opens the door to welcome in the group for refreshments. (In recent years, some airmen have modified the tradition to a “porch stomp.”)


7. Each March, some airmen participate in a Mustache March, a tradition where airmen grow mustaches to honor Air Force legend and triple ace Brig. Gen. Robin Olds.

8. Johnny Cash, Morgan Freeman and James Stewert are just a handful of the celebrities who have served as airmen. Stewart – who won an Oscar for “Philadelphia Story” before flying missions in World War II and Vietnam – rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Air Force Reserve.

9. Before the Air Force became its own branch of the military, it was a part of the Army. On Aug. 1, 1907, the U.S. Army Signal Corps formed the Aeronautical Division, which later evolved into the Air Force.

Air Force combat ace Robin Olds and his famous 'stache. Photo via commons

Air Force combat ace Robin Olds and his famous ‘stache. Photo via commons

10. In 1947, then-Air Force Capt. Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in his Bell X-1 rocket-powered aircraft, beginning a new era of aeronautics in America.

11. Two U.S. presidents — Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush — served as airmen. Reagan’s service came when the branch was still the Army Air Forces. Bush served in the Texas Air National Guard before transferring to the Air Force Reserve.