Second lady: It’s imperative to support military spouses

Second lady: It’s ‘imperative’ to support military spouses

The Trump administration feels it’s “imperative” to support military spouses and children, second lady Karen Pence told an audience filled with Army spouses and leaders.“We know military life is not easy,” she said.

Pence recently launched a campaign to “elevate and encourage military spouses,” and highlight the resources they can turn to for help, she said, speaking Tuesday to a family forum at the 2018 Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting.

“We know employment issues are one of the biggest challenges military spouses face, especially for those with jobs that require licensures, such as teachers, nurses, hair stylists, and doctors,” she said. Defense officials estimate that about 37 percent of spouses are working in fields that require a license and moving means often a time-consuming, expensive and frustrating process of getting a license to be able to work in their field.

“This is the thing we heard the most, the number one issue,” Pence said. She said she held “listening sessions” with spouses around the country and in some overseas locations, to determine what spouses needed before launching the campaign. The sessions included men and women of all ranks and branches, including reserve components — without base commander spouses present, so that spouses felt free to speak. Other issues brought up included the availability of child care and problems in getting clearances to be able to work on bases overseas.

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