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NEWS | Nov. 16, 2010

November is Military Family Month

By Brian McGloin 502nd Air Base Wing OL-B Public Affairs

The month of November is set aside to honor the families who stand behind the servicemembers.

President Barack Obama first proclaimed November 2009 as Military Family month to honor the families of those serving in the armed forces, and this November is no different.

"We owe each day of security and freedom that we enjoy to the members of our Armed Forces and their families. Behind our brave service men and women, there are family members and loved ones who share in their sacrifice and provide unending support," President Obama said in a proclamation dated Oct. 29, 2010. "During Military Family Month, we celebrate the exceptional contributions of our military families, and we reaffirm our commitments to these selfless individuals who exemplify the highest principles of our nation."

Military Family Month was established in 1993 by the Armed Services YMCA and was recognized by the government every year since, said the ASYMCA's Web site.

The Web site also said families from military bases as well as the communities around the bases are encouraged to "honor military families through private actions and public service for the tremendous contributions they make in the support of our servicemembers and our nation."

The message behind the month is for everyone to do a little more to support military families.

"While only a fraction of Americans are in military families, all of us share in the responsibility of caring for our military families and veterans, and all sectors of our society are better off when we reach out and work together to support these patriots," the president said. "By offering job opportunities and workplace flexibility, businesses and companies can benefit from the unparalleled dedication and skills of a service member or military spouse. Through coordination with local community groups, individuals and organizations can ensure our military families have the help they need and deserve when a loved one is deployed. Even the smallest actions by neighbors and friends send a large message of profound gratitude to the families who risk everything to see us safe and free."

Americans are encouraged to remember military families not only during November, but all year.

"As America asks ever more of military families, they have a right to expect more of us -- it is our national challenge and moral obligation to uphold that promise. If we hold ourselves to the same high standard of excellence our military families live by every day, we will realize the vision of an America that supports and engages these heroes now and for decades to come," the president said.