Sacrifices, courage of military families are honored

| November 4, 2010 | 0 Comments

Neal Snyder
Installation Management Command

SAN ANTONIO — November marks the return of Military Family Appreciation Month. 

Throughout November, the Department of Defense and the nation will honor the commitment and sacrifices made by the families of the nation’s service members. 

More Soldiers have families, today, than at any other time throughout U.S. history. According to the latest report by the Office of Army Demographics, 58 percent of Soldiers are married, and another 6.7 percent are single with children. The Army counted more than 850,000 family members. 

These families, already used to a life of deployment and separation, are seeing the effects of more than nine years of persistent conflict. 

“Never before in the history of our Army have we asked so much of our families,” Gen. George Casey Jr., chief of staff of the Army, has noted, on several occasions. “They are serving side-by-side with our Soldiers, enduring their hardships, providing the unconditional love and support that truly makes our Army strong.” 

This year’s theme for Military Family Appreciation Month is “Army families – We honor your faithful commitment, strength and resilience.”

“To be effective, we have to make sure we are taking care of those things that the Soldier truly cares about,” said John McHugh, secretary of the Army, at the recent meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army. “One of the first things every Soldier brings up is how much they care about (and) how concerned they are for the welfare of those loved ones they left behind. 

“The last thing we want Soldiers to be worried about … is whether or not their families are being taken care of,” he said.

The Army Family Covenant represents the Army’s promise to provide Soldiers and their families a quality of life commensurate to their sacrifice to the nation, said Maj. Gen. Reuben Jones, commander, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command.

“We believe, that if we take care of our families, our Soldiers will do what our nation asks them,” Jones told the AUSA audience.

The covenant is built upon five core commitments from Army leadership:

  1. Standardize and fully fund family programs and services.
  2. Increase accessibility and quality of health care.
  3. Improve Soldier and family housing.
  4. Ensure excellence in Child, Youth and School Services.
  5. Expand education and employment opportunities for family members.

Even in tight economic times, the Army “is not going to walk away from fully funding the Army Family Covenant,” said Lt. Gen. Rick  Lynch, commander, Installation Management Command. “I am dedicated to deliver on the Army leadership’s promise to continue to provide the best care and quality of life possible to Soldiers and their families. 

“Our commitment to delivering the Army Family Covenant is nonnegotiable,” Lynch said, in the fall issue of the “Journal of Installation Management.” 

“We will not depart from this commitment,” he added. 

“Military families are proud, patriotic Americans,” said Michelle Obama, first lady, in a July 4 message. “They are some of the most selfless people that I’ve met. I want to thank those families for their dedication, sacrifice and service.”

 

Military Family Appreciation Month Events

The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, has planned the following events:

  • Families can create a Thanksgiving apple turkey, Nov. 18, 6-8 p.m., at the Hale Ikena, Fort Shafter. 
  • The Schofield Barracks Health and Fitness Center will host an open house, Nov. 19, 4-8 p.m. Health assessments and professionals will be available. Call 655-9650.
  • Tropics Recreation Center will host a Harry Potter-themed Family Fun Friday, Nov. 19, 6-9 p.m.

Visit www.mwrarmyhawaii.com for more details. 

 

Category: Community, Observances

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