FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- The Fort Bragg USO recently invited Maj. Gen. Jefforey Smith, deputy commander, XVIII Airborne Corps, and his wife Starla to participate in their monthly United Through Reading event held Feb. 25. "Pete the cat put on his favorite shirt with four big, colorful, round, groovy buttons," the general read to an audience of parents and children who gathered around the Smiths as they presented the book Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.The Smiths, who often read to their three grandchildren in person and through Face Time, understand the importance of these types of events."It's a great program [United Through Reading] and it's an example of the passion we have to care for families and Soldiers," said Smith.The Fort Bragg USO has held its monthly one-hour reading program for more than two years, capturing the interest of a number of locally-stationed families."We've been coming here for more than a year," said Heather Coffman, the spouse of a 50th Signal Battalion Soldier. "My kids love it. They love the people. We love the stories and crafts."The Fort Bragg USO provides snacks, crafts, a children's play area, and a copy of the featured book for the families to take home."It's a fun opportunity for families to meet each other and enjoy a great story," said Beverly Jackson, Fort Bragg USO assistant director. "The program encourages literacy and interaction between parents," continued Jackson.There are volunteer opportunities for reading, setting up snacks, and facilitating crafts. A Fayetteville restaurant donated lunch during this month's event."USO personnel, community members, and even Miss North Carolina have volunteered during our monthly events," said Jackson.To find out more about the United Through Reading program, you can visit the website http://www.unitedthroughreading.org/military-program/ or contact the Fort Bragg USO 910-495-1437.