USO’s 75th anniversary celebrated with state’s first mobile canteen

USO’s 75th anniversary celebrated with state’s first mobile canteen

An old worn and weathered bread truck has found new life as a USO mobile canteen that will be stationed at Fort McCoy Total Force Training Center.

The truck will provide snacks and information and be a place where service men and women can relax.

The renovation of the truck was done in the S&S Research garage in Mukwonago.

Richard Kalashian, a Vietnam veteran, oversaw the project. He remembers the importance the USO had to American troops in Vietnam.

“To see the USO there, it brought back your home,” Kalashian said. “Talking to the troops, it meant a lot to them. It kind of took them away from the war. It brought home life back.”

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the USO. It was created in 1941 to support American service men and women during World War II. In the years since, the USO has served more than 35 million Americans.

“A service member will tell you it is critical. It is their home away from home,” said Tim Flatley, a board member of USO Wisconsin. “They see that logo, that USO logo and they know something good is coming.”

Much of the work done on the USO mobile canteen was done by volunteers including the graphics, which were provided by Modern Ink Signs and Graphics in Waukesha.

The USO mobile canteen will provide services in addition to USO facilities at the Milwaukee and La Crosse Airports

More information about USO Wisconsin and the services they provide can be found online.