STAND TO!

Edition: Fri, May 09, 2008
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SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"Our military Families also sacrifice for America. They endure sleepless nights and the daily struggle of providing for children while a loved one is serving far from home. We have a responsibility to provide for them. So I ask you to join me in expanding their access to childcare, creating new hiring preferences for military spouses across the federal government and allowing our troops to transfer their unused education benefits to their spouses or children. Our military Families serve our nation, they inspire our nation and tonight our nation honors them."

-President George W. Bush
2008 State of the Union Address
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"While our men and women in uniform may be called to pay the highest price, their Families, and particularly their spouses, make a considerable sacrifice as well."

-Secretary Robert M. Gates

Bush, Gates honor military spouses at White House ceremony

White House Military Spouse Day commemoration (video)

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"As military spouses, we have a responsibility that we are humanitarians. .... We are people who want to be able to bring and instill peace around the world. We want to show people that our hearts are made of gold."

-Michelle McIntyre-Brewer, 2008 Military Spouse of the Year

Magazine honors Military Spouse of the Year

TODAY'S FOCUS

Military Spouse Day

What is it?

Military Spouse Day (May 9, 2008) is a day set aside each year to recognize the commitment and sacrifices military spouses make every day.

What has the Army done?

- To better assist military spouses, particularly during deployments, the Army has doubled its investment in Family programs. Among the major programs supported are Army Community Service, Child Care Services, and Youth Services.

- The Army funded 1,029 Family readiness support assistants down to battalion level to assist military spouses with leading Family readiness groups and increased hourly child care funding for family readiness groups.

- An Integrated Family Support Network is being created to provide access to services and programs regardless of a military spouse's proximity to a military installation.

- The Army is increasing accessibility and quality of health care by focusing on support for military spouses and Families through Soldier and Family assistance centers (SFAC). SFAC's provide one-stop assistance for resources and services that include administrative and financial counseling. The Army has also developed realistic pre- and post- deployment training focused on educating spouses on the stresses and strains of deployment on Soldiers.

- At the end of this year, through privatization, 83,080 homes at 38 locations will have undergone significant improvements. By the end of 2009, this number will increase to 88,026 homes at 45 locations.

- The Army has eliminated registration fees and reduced program fees for child and youth programs and services. The Army has also extended operating hours beyond the normal duty day and increased respite child care from five to 16 hours per month per child.

- We have expanded education and employment opportunities for military spouses and Family members. We have 31 corporate partners in the Army Spouse Employment Program, have launched the military spouse job search database, and helped more than 23,000 military spouses find jobs.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

- The Army will continue its commitment to providing military spouses and Families a quality of life that is commensurate with their service.

- The Army will continue to provide military spouses and Families a strong, supportive environment where they can thrive.

- The Army will continue building partnerships with military spouses and their Families that will enhance their strength and resilience.

Why is this important to the Army?

- The Army enlists Soldiers; they re-enlist Army Families. It is the military spouse who supports the Family that supports the Soldier, who supports the Army that defends the nation.


Resources:

- Military Spouse Day message

- Military Spouse Day Web site

- The Army Family Covenant

- Army Family Strong (video)





INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates

- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace

- Army Public Affairs Portal

- Stories of Valor

A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT

The Army Community Relations Calendar

Bloggers Roundtable

Teens get political as NATO 'ambassadors'

CALENDAR

Friday, May 9, 2008: Military Spouse Day

May- July 4, 2008: Season of Remembrance

May 2008: Asian - Pacific Heritage Month

Saturday, June 14, 2008: The U.S. Army Birthday Ball

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