The past week, I spent time reading a number of articles about a recent visit the vice president’s wife made to an Army installation. Karen Pence visited Fort Carson where she shared her desire and commitment to helping military spouses get the support and services needed.
Mrs. Pence is a strong supporter of military spouses and family members. She is the mother of a U.S. Marine. She is the daughter of a U.S. Air Force airman. Her father-in-law served in the U.S. Army.
On her recent visit, she was joined by the spouses of the secretary of the Army, chief of staff, chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force General, chief of the National Guard Bureau General and the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Spouses who know and understand the challenges of military spouses. Spouses who live this life with us. Spouses who want to make a difference for each other.
Pence shared information on the recent license cost reimbursements under the defense bill that was recently signed into law.
Although I don’t have a professional license, I hear my friends and neighbors share their frustrations about the lack of reciprocity and high costs when it comes to licensing.
She talked about the push to hire military spouses by the U.S Government, alongside many private companies who are pledging to support and bring military spouses into their workforce.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce continues with their campaign to assist in the hiring of military spouses.
I have talked about the amazing qualities military spouses bring the table that often may be overlooked due to a resume that has some holes and lots of moves on them.
I certainly can relate.
At one duty station, I had four jobs in two years. All in my field and all allowing to me to move up, but often times, human resource professionals can take that as a negative at first glance.
As a military spouse, you have to take the professional opportunities that come your way if it is right for your family. That could mean four jobs in two years.
For our military spouses, the skill set that comes from education, training or professional experience coupled with this military life is invaluable.
Together we have to keep beating the drum and celebrating all that military spouses do, create and bring to the table.
It is great to have the spotlight on our community and the challenges we face professionally.
We must continue to rise to the occasion by promoting ourselves, sharing our challenges and celebrating each other.
“You are the home front heroes,” Pence said. “Your network is immense, and your networking skills are to be admired. You are the backbone of military families.”
So the other side of this is that military spouses continue to advocate for each other and their families to make sure opportunities are created, challenges are met head-on and communities are celebrated.
Many in the public eye use their spotlight to share the challenges military spouses face. There is something valuable that comes from that. The more people we have sharing the challenges we face and opportunities we are afforded, the better.
Pence recognized that military life is not easy. She heard stories first hand. We have all experienced different hardships and challenges that come with military life. Pence also touched on the pride that comes from this life. The pride we feel as we stand and support America’s heroes.
As military spouses, we are in this together. Celebrate each other. Lift each other up. Connect with each other. Support each other.
Reena O’Brien is a military spouse and Herald Correspondent. She lives at Fort Hood.