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National Veterans and Military Families Month

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National Veterans and Military Families Month

By Julie Banks

Our United States military is the greatest in the world.  These dedicated patriots have pledged to defend our nation, our Constitution and our citizens, and they are answering their call to duty to ensure that those who thirst for freedom around the world are both protected and empowered to find it.

Julie Blanks, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy. Army photo by Monica King

While we must always honor the service and sacrifice of our military members, we must never forget the strength of our military families.  During National Veterans and Military Families Month, we recognize that behind these service members are husbands, wives, parents, children and siblings who provide the steadfast support, courage and resolve that enable the men and women of our military to strengthen us in peace and defend us in war.

Military families are standing alongside our service members as they deploy around the world in support of combat and contingency operations and as they bring much-needed relief in the aftermath of natural disasters.  As our service members carry out these and other missions, our military families, too, are serving by staying strong and resilient at home. For this, they deserve our utmost gratitude and thanks.

Military families endure long separations and frequent moves, and we rely on them to be constantly vigilant and ready to carry on when service members are called away at a moment’s notice.  Military spouses face challenges with their careers, often starting anew at each duty station.  Military kids must learn to fit in at new schools, on new sports teams, activities and clubs, and in new neighborhoods, every two to three years.  Military life is one of frequent change and transition, but our military families know this and contribute willingly and without complaint, for they understand just how critical their support is to our national security.

It is for these reasons that as a grateful nation, we stand behind these heroes, and must do all we can to ensure they are empowered to achieve their dreams.  Much has already been done:  we are streamlining professional licensing and credentialing processes so that military spouses can continue their work when they move across state lines without having to re-certify for a job they are already qualified for; businesses have hired thousands of military spouses in the last year; and states are working together to address the educational challenges and interests of our military children.

However, there is still much to do.  For their amazing talents, dedication, and their own service to our nation and all that we hold dear, our military families are worthy of all we can provide for them. We thank all our military family members for their collective service and sacrifices during this National Veterans and Military Families Month.