Home Randy Forbes: We salute you

Randy Forbes: We salute you

randy forbesThey are called patriots for the unyielding strength they display when our nation needs them. They mobilize at a moment’s notice. They put in exhausting hours on behalf of our military service branches. When duty calls, they are the first ones to step up to the line. And when our men and women in uniform head off for deployment, they stay behind.

They are military spouses, and their support, sacrifices, and strength form an important pillar in our national defense structure.

As they support our nation’s defenders, they run their own businesses, work full time jobs, volunteer in our communities, educate our nation’s next generation of leaders, and provide rock solid support to fellow military families. Ask a military spouse how they manage it all, and they will likely tell you that they cannot do it without a mutual support for each other and a love for all military families.

And when you ask our men and women in uniform what support we as a nation can offer them, most often they will say, “Support my family.” They say this because they know their own decision to serve our nation doesn’t just affect them. For every sacrifice they make, their families make a host of others. For every training, deployment, or assignment they must take, their families feel the impact. Behind a host of deployments or moves, spouses are often found tirelessly leading the charge.

As a staunch defender of our military, I have made it a priority to ensure military spouses and families receive the support they need. Whether fighting against reductions to commissary services, working to eliminate the widow’s tax, ensuring job training resources and educational opportunities for military spouses, or improving survivor benefits, I have sought to meet the needs of our military service members to support their families. Still, we can do more.

As a member of the bipartisan Congressional Military Family Caucus, I am committed to educating Members of Congress and congressional staff on resources for military families and legislation to support them. Among the goals of the Military Family Caucus are improving education, childcare, health care, employment and other support services for the families of active-duty military men and women.

So how can we recognize military spouses beyond providing structural supports? On Friday, May 9, we observe Military Spouse Appreciation Day. It is one day of the year that we set aside to formally express the gratitude many of us feel towards this often unrecognized group of American patriots.

As you go throughout your day on Friday, I encourage you to think of those around you – in your neighborhood, in your churches, in your family – who have a spouse serving in our military, either now or previously. If you’re unsure of what to say, tell them this:

Your sacrifice is noticed. It is valued. In your fears and struggles, we stand with you. In your triumphs and achievements, we celebrate you. In your dedication to your family, and the families around you, we applaud you. In your sacrifices for this country, we thank you.

America’s freedom is formed by an intricate weaving together of threads, each one holding a distinct purpose. If one thread is pulled, the whole thing begins to unravel. You are a thread in our nation’s story of hope and freedom. We salute you.



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