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White House Announces Increased Military Family Support

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President Barack Obama announces a new government-wide initiative to benefit military families as Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, and First Lady Michelle Obama look on during a Jan. 24, 2011, White House event. (DoD photo by Elaine Wilson)

President Barack Obama announced earlier this week, a government-wide plan to strengthen military family support. In addition to supporting the service member, this new approach recognizes the importance of providing family members with the support, programs and resources they deserve and need. It’s an interagency commitment, which includes the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and agencies all across the federal government, to improve the well-being and quality of life for military families.

“It’s not just a moral obligation, but a matter of national security. The readiness of our armed forces depends on the readiness of our military families,” said Obama.

The latest whole-of-government approach is the result of a yearlong review of military family support that Obama issued to understand the unique challenges and identify the most pressing issues that service members and families face. The report, titled “Strengthening our Military Families: Meeting America’s Commitment” presents new programs and initiatives government agencies plan to launch in the pending months.

The report identifies the following four key priorities that the government-wide effort plans to focus on:

  • Enhance the well-being and psychological health of the military family
  • Ensure excellence in military children’s education and development
  • Develop career and educational opportunities for military spouses
  • Increase child care availability and quality for the armed forces

“This document is the commitment to our military families not only of this government, but this nation in terms of their support, their care and their empowerment,” said Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Pentagon’s office of Military Community and Family Policy, told the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service in a recent interview.

Additionally, included in the report, are new initiatives aimed to improve and increase behavioral health services for military families – promote early recognition of mental health conditions – and integrate mental health services into primary care.

Video of the president’s speech is available on the Pentagon Channel website and the White House press release is available.

We want to hear your thoughts. What do you think about this new commitment to our armed forces and their families?


Comments (5)

  • Helen Noel 05 Sep

    Personally I think the initative is a wonderful idea and long overdue. Military families are being neglected in so many ways and it's time for them to get the recognition and attention they deserve. The military family is under a great deal of stressors on the homefront and abroad and we need to show our commitment and appreciation for their sacrifices. I am a veteran and my husband is currently serving in Iraq. God bless the U.S military and their families and God bless the USA.
  • DCoE Blog Team 05 Sep

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. More importantly, thank you for your sacrifice, your husband's and the thousands of military families who face the stressors that come with serving on behalf of this nation. You do it with so much strength and resiliency day after day; our thoughts and prayers are with you. We encourage you to check out the Families category on the DCoE Blog for relevant posts geared at military families and also, DCoE and others recently released "New Handbook for Families and Friends". Find more about this here: http://www.dcoe.health.mil/blog/article.aspx?id=1&postid=175
  • diane callan 05 Sep

    My husband retired after 27 years of service to our country and he is our hero. His military file lists him as a "disabled Veteran with PTSD". We knew there were plenty of other families dealing with the same issues so reached we appealed to our local health and wellness community to unite in ways in which we could offer FREE wellness solutions for military families. We organized a grass roots effort by the name of Wellness for Warriors Triangle (W4W) and our mission is to serve those who serve by bringing the business and civilian communities together in ways that offer holistic wellness support, education and resources to benefit US military service members, veterans and their families. Our intention is to offer integrative lifestyle solutions and resources for military families by sharing and co-creating evidence based complimentary alternative medicine (CAM) programming that is being utilized in military settings around the nation. Integrative Health programs under consideration for implementation include: Yoga, Mediation, Chiropractic Care, Acupuncture and Bio-Feedback and more. In our search for answers and solutions, we came across this DCOE site and uncovered a gold mine of wellness resources that we are focused on adopting into our programming. We welcome any and all to check out our meetup group by GOOGLING "Wellness for Warriors Triangle North Carolina" and encourage ALL of you to do the same in your respective communities! Thank you.
  • MSgt Kevin M.Howard 05 Sep

    While on duty at Barksdale AFB, LA, my wife called from NC to tell me that our family's health care, TRICARE, needed a payment. I called TRICARE on the June 15th and attempted to make the payment and TRICARE told me to call on the 30th to make the payment. On June 30th, I was traveling back to NC from LA (15 hours) and I forgot to call TRICARE. I called TRICARE on the 1st of July and they told me tough luck your 30 days grace is over. TRICARE does not care that I was on military duty at the time and does not care about this member of the US military. I want to be reinstated in TRICARE. TRICARE threw my family and me away like a bag of garbage. Is this article true? Please help me get reinstated in TRICARE.
  • DCoE Blog Editor 05 Sep

    So you don't have to worry about remembering when you are away from home, you can elect to use your credit card to automatically make monthly payments for premium-based TRICARE plans such as TRICARE Reserve Select. Otherwise, you will be billed by the 10th of each month. There is often flexibility in recognition of the busy challenges of military life, but it is very important to keep payments up to day as non-payment will result in termination of coverage. Also, if you have customer service issues there is a wealth of information on how to reach TRICARE assistance at http://www.tricare.mil/contactus.

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