So, the USO here brought the Live Show of Sesame Street in town. I thought it was going to be kind of cheesy, but it actually turned out to be pretty great.
Do you guys know what the USO is? It's the United Service Organization. They're basically a non-profit organization who bring support to the troops and their families...their main motto is something like "bringing a touch of home". They've been around for a very long time. I remember when my dad did USO tours with his performing groups he directed. Anyway, they have offices it seems on every base. You can find activities there and really get involved in finding things for you and your family while living far away.
When we walked in, all these volunteers with Sesame Street t-shirts started handing out a bunch of free gifts...as you can see Xoe and Xanthe donning them. There were USO bandanas, an Elmo battery-operated spinner, Sesame Street DVD's and books geared towards army families who are dealing with some pretty sensitive issues. Spencer and the girls have watched the DVD's quite a few times since the show.
Spencer absolutely loved it and was enthralled.
Now, obviously one would think that because all they did was dance around and sing in front of a backdrop that it would have been cheesy. You know, it just wasn't. Maybe because of the content about what they were singing about. They were singing all these songs to the kids who have parents deployed in Iraq, or in Afghanistan, or other places. They had fun songs about being brave, and Elmo talked about missing his dad when he goes away.
And I actually got really choked up toward the end (which if you know me, I don't choke up very easily) because Elmo started singing this song called, "Proud." He was singing to all the families about how proud he is of them, and how proud they should be of themselves for getting through this, and also for being a part of a good cause. It really was a well written song.
When they were singing it, he went up close to the kids and started hugging all of them. The kids started catching on and started walking up to get a hug from Elmo. Then all the other characters came out and gave hugs too. Yes, I'll admit, it was a very tender moment.
This is a short video of the middle of the song when the kids starting going up to the front. I wish I caught more of the chorus of the song cuz that was the best part. Sorry, I'm being pretty sappy aren't I?
Here are just some more pictures of the whole event. As you can see, the girls and Spencer loved it. I thought it would be too juvenile for the girls but a few of their friends were there and they really liked it. The songs were fun to dance to and all the kids were super into it so it made everyone feed off each other.
Look at Spencer's facial expressions. I tried getting all of them on camera cuz they were so funny. Oh, and I really have to apologize for the washed out pictures. I don't know why our camera was doing that. It wasn't our good camera, this was just our point and shoot.
Brian was even groovin along. You can't see it here cuz he would stop every time I started to take a picture, but he was movin his booty.
I really love the work that USO does. I really didn't grasp how much of a difference it makes in these families' lives until I came over here and was on the receiving end. These families do such a great job getting through their situation that they should be commended and rewarded, as well as encouraged in knowing that others (including their favorite Sesame Street character) "know" how they feel. I really hope I can somehow be involved in the work USO does. It's such a great effort.