his week, one of our partners celebrates a significant milestone: The United Service Organizations (USO) is turning 75.
It was on the eve of World War II that President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the USO as an organization that would support active military service members on the frontlines by doing things like assembling holiday care packages—while also comforting their family members back on the home front.
And for over 70 years, the USO has delivered on its mission. Through war and peace time. From the moment someone first dons a uniform to the day that person retires and transitions back to civilian life.
So I couldn’t be prouder for Johnson & Johnson to partner closely with the USO in advancing their mission of connecting service members to family, home and country.
Just like the USO, J&J has a long history of supporting and hiring veterans as far back as the Spanish American War. Veterans like employee Vincent Utz, who earned a Purple Heart for the bravery he displayed in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.
Employees who have served can also join the Veterans Leadership Council, an employee resource group that offers support and guidance for their career paths at J&J.
Through our partnership, J&J has helped fund USO centers, including the USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda, which serves as a welcome reprieve from hospital life for service members being treated at the neighboring Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
And that’s just one way Johnson & Johnson has helped to support the USO.
Since 2014, we’ve also worked with the organization on such programs as USO What to Expect: Special Delivery (baby showers for military moms-to-be) and USO Caregiver Seminars designed to help loved ones cope with caring for wounded service members. Most recently, we sponsored the USO Wishbook holiday catalog, with a match that doubled the end-of-the-year USO Wishbook gifts given by our fellow patriotic Americans.
So it goes without saying that we’re looking forward to another year of nurturing this wonderful partnership—a year in which Johnson & Johnson will be celebrating its own significant milestone of caring for the world one person at time for 130 years.
Susan Can is Senior Director of Corporate Equity and Strategic Partnerships, focusing on mobile health and digital asset strategy for the group. Susan also oversees several Global signature partnerships, including Save The Children and USO relationships. Under her leadership, Corporate Equity launched Donate a Photo in 2013 as a way to connect Johnson & Johnson with its long standing non-profit partners and consumers around the shared desire to do good.