USO Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (JBPHH) adapts to shifting social distancing restrictions to provide much-needed socialization for families of the deployed U.S.S. Springfield.
This most recent deployment was unlike others before it, as families faced increased isolation due to Covid-19 restrictions. The President of the U.S.S. Springfield Family Readiness Group, Erica Nalbone, realized the families needed a safe space to reconnect. Erica reached out to the USO JBPHH team for help.
The USO JBPHH team joined forces with Nelles Chapel to host a socially distanced outdoor movie night and pizza party for the families. The event was held for the halfway night, a long-time tradition amongst families of deployed ships and submarines to celebrate making it to the halfway mark of the deployment. Families who attended got to “see” their service member on the big screen via a tape recording sent from the U.S.S. Springfield Crew. This was the first time the families got to see their service members since they left for deployment months prior.
The first USO JBPHH Halfway Movie Night Program began in May of 2021 and has grown in popularity to become an official program for the USO JBPHH Center. To date, the Halfway Movie Night Program has also supported the U.S.S. Illinois, U.S.S. Halsey, and the U.S.S. Jefferson City. 214 family members have attended this program, and the Facebook reach has grown to surpass 5,000 with 685 social engagements.
The Halfway Movie Night Program helps re-energize families for the second half of the deployment and reminds them they are not alone. Erica Nalbone expressed her appreciation for the USO JBPHH support during the U.S.S. Springfield deployment by writing, “thank you SO much for all of the USO support this deployment. We are truly so grateful, and it seems like other Family Readiness Groups have leaned into the awesome resources of the USO for halfway night too! We are so grateful for all of your help…I wanted to follow up and just say how personally grateful I am for all the USO has done for us…You have brought so many of our USS Springfield families together in a tumultuous time and spread joy for our homecoming!”
From deployments to homecomings and everything in between, the USO JBPHH team has your back. It is committed to keeping service members and their families connected to home and country through their service to our nation. If your unit needs deployment support via care packages, a halfway movie night, or homecoming support, click this link to submit a request https://hawaii.uso.org/programs/request-for-uso-hawaii-support-at-your-program-and-events.
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