When a U.S. Navy family is preparing for their Sailor to leave for yet another deployment, feelings of anxiety and concern may be overwhelming. Families dread the time and long distance from their loved ones. As the families say their goodbyes and watch the ship disappear into the horizon, an emptiness fills their stomachs and hearts. Even though goodbyes are a part of Navy life, it does not get any easier for military families.

However, as the saying goes, distance only makes the heart grow fonder. When the day finally arrives, families anxiously wait on the pier for their loved ones to sail closer to home. Spouses hold back tears, and kids unsuccessfully try to contain their excitement.

When ships arrive in Rota, Spain, the USO is at the pier, ready to capture that beautiful moment of Sailors embracing their families for the first time in several months. USO Rota turns on background music that pumps up the crowd and provides art supplies for kids to make a sign for their loved ones. The USO understands these moments are precious, so we strive to make them as memorable as possible. No matter where a service member is in the world, the USO will keep them connected to their family, home, and country.

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