"USO service books index the military experience" reads the title of a recent article in the Jacksonville Daily Newspaper. The service books, less the current representations, mentioned in the article along with numerous photographs, publications, newspapers and various other forms material related to the the United Service Organization (USO) Jacksonville, are among the manuscript holdings in Randall Library's Special Collections.
The service books include representation from every U.S. state and date back to the 1960s. Filled with thousands of intimate entries, these notebooks once served as main line of communication for troops to provide status updates during their service. The cardboard covers of older notebooks are often illustrated with doodles, city names, sports team insignia and state pride. The news article quotes Marisa Reeder, Jacksonville Center Assistant Director:
"Having been to the University of North Carolina Wilmington to see the archives it just took my breath away. The decades-old service books transport readers to the past. The entries also help veterans track their fellow service members and allow them to leave a personal mark on the USO itself."
Special Collections received the archives of the USO Jacksonville center in 2011. The collection is being processed with the aid of UNCW Public History graduate assistants. For researchers interested in viewing the collection, please contact Special Collections staff.
Althouse, John. "USO service books index the military experience." Jacksonville Daily News 08 09 2013, n. pag. Web. 18 Sep. 2013. <http://www.jdnews.com/news/military/uso-service-books-index-the-military experience-1.199642?page=2>.