By By Sgt. Kyle Fisch, USASOC Public AffairsNovember 3, 2016
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- "During Military Family Month, we salute the families of those who proudly are a part of our Nation's unbroken chain of patriots for their unwavering devotion, and we renew our sacred vow to uphold our promise to our troops, our veterans, and their families," said President Barack Obama.
Every year the president signs a proclamation declaring November Military Family Month. This proclamation marks a month-long celebration of the military family in which the Department of Defense and the nation honors the commitment and sacrifices made by the families of our nation's service members.
"I think it's wonderful that we have set aside a month to recognize the contributions that military families have made to support their loved ones and our mission," said Angela Latham, U. S. Army Special Operations Command Director of Family Programs. "It's important that we acknowledge the strength of our families and the contributions they have made to the military and civilian communities, whether through workforce, volunteering or building relationships."
From long periods of time apart due to deployments, the stress of daily military life, and constantly having to move to a new home in an unfamiliar place, military families are steadfast in supporting their service member.
"From the moment you say 'I do', you move numerous times, your job (as the spouse) is often put on the backburner, you continuously make adjustments for that loved one on active duty," Latham said. "When we talk about the children, there's things that people take for granted, big milestones are missed like ball games, birthdays, graduations, holidays, and just having that parent time."
"The one thing that impresses me the most about these family members is their dedication and their willingness to support their loved one in their pursuit and desire to serve their nation," Latham concluded.
The Department of Defense recognizes difficulties commonly encountered with military life and has robust programs in place - designed to help with various different challenges.
"USASOC family members, like other Army family members, have support through DoD programs and also through Army programs with MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation) and also through ACS (Army Community Service), but in addition to that families have access to military life counselors, child and youth counselors, as well as financial counselors," Latham noted.
USASOC receives additional funding through the U.S. Special Operations Command Preservation of the Force & Family (POTFF) program to better meet the needs of families in the special operations community.
"We (USASOC) are fortunate enough to be able to fund several family initiatives as well, from 'spouse mentorship programs' to 'child-parent adventure weekends'," Latham continued. "You can never do quite enough for the families, there's always something else that could be done, so we're certainly open to ideas and suggestions on how we can better support families here in USASOC."
The family programs center is dedicated to serving the needs of Special Operations family members and recognizing the contributions of those who stand behind our nation's warfighters.
"As long as there is a husband or a wife, son or daughter, brother or sister that serves in the military, there is always going to be supportive, committed military family members out there for us and we need to acknowledge, thank and encourage them whenever we come in contact with them," Latham said. "We must also always remember the family members of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation."
Latham shares the same sentiment expressed in Obama's annual proclamation for the month of the military family.
"We must always be there for our service members and their families -- just as they are there for us. Through the thickest of fights and the darkest of nights, our extraordinary military families -- our heroes on the home front -- stand alongside our patriots in uniform, and in their example we see the very best of our country's spirit."