I was honored to photograph this day called “Backstage at the USO”, an event to show gratitude for USO supporters and most importantly, service members (and their significant others).
The day began on the District Wharf, a pretty area on the water across from the Potomac River (and Reagan Airport) in Washington D.C. with a care package event. It was an assembly line to put together care packages for the troops with the added amenities of celebrities, VIP’s (Monte Durham, Wilmer Valderrama, Paula Poundstone, Julianna Peña, Brantley Gilbert and Ann-Margaret and USO CEO and President J.D. Crouch II), and entertainment:
The night continued inside The Anthem with host Wilmer Valderrama (actor from NCIS and That 70’s Show)and a hilarious comedy performance by Paula Poundstone. There were many military leaders in attendance, many who gave brief remarks (Command Sgt. Major Christopher Kepner, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief; National Guard Bureau; General James C. McConville, Chief of Staff of the Army; General David H. Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps; and retired Gen. George W. Casey, Chairman of the USO Board of Governors and 36th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. The Bob Hope Award was given (by Bob Hope’s daughter) to a singer, dancer and long time supporter (over six decades!) of the USO, Ann-Margaret. Then the evening concluded with country star Brantley Gilbert: