Special to the Journal
WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., joined his Senate colleagues in commemorating “Month of the Military Child,” a celebration in April to recognize the sacrifices made by children of military families and to applaud their service to the country.
On Tuesday evening, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing April 2013 as the National Month of the Military Child. U.S. Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) led this bipartisan group of senators in introducing the resolution, including Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mark Warner (D-VA), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Joe Machin (D-WV), Dean Heller (R-NV), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
“When a parent serves our country in the military, the children serve, as well. As we celebrate the Month of the Military Child, I am reminded of the selflessness and patriotism of all our military families. But more importantly, I am reminded of exactly what we ask these children to sacrifice for us everyday – their parents,” said Chambliss. “I hope that everyone will join me this month in thanking these remarkable children for their sacrifice and their service to our nation.”
It is estimated that of the more than 2 million men and women serving in the U.S. military, nearly 44 percent leave families with children behind. As of March 2013, 4,802 children had lost a parent serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
The full text of the Resolution follows:
Honoring military children during National Month of the Military Child.
Whereas more than 2,000,000 men and women are demonstrating their courage and commitment to freedom by serving in the Armed Forces of the United States;
Whereas 43.9 percent of members of the Armed Forces, when deployed away from their permanent duty stations, leave families with children behind;
Whereas no one feels the effect of deployments more than the children of deployed members of the Armed Forces;
Whereas, as of March 2013, 4,802 children had lost a parent serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom;
Whereas the daily struggles and personal sacrifices of children of members of the Armed Forces too often go unnoticed;
Whereas countless children live with a service member parent who bears the visible or invisible wounds of war;
Whereas the children of members of the Armed Forces are a source of pride and honor to the people of the United States and it is fitting that the Nation recognize their contributions and celebrate their spirit;
Whereas the National Month of the Military Child, observed in April each year, recognizes military children for their sacrifices and contributes to demonstrating the Nation’s unconditional support for members of the Armed Forces;
Whereas, in addition to Department of Defense programs to support military families and military children, various programs and campaigns have been established in the private sector to honor, support, and thank military children by fostering awareness and appreciation for the sacrifices and the challenges they face; and
Whereas a month-long salute to military children will encourage support for those organizations and campaigns established to provide direct support for military children and families: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate–
(1) joins the Secretary of Defense in honoring the children of members of the Armed Forces and recognizes that those children also share in the burden of protecting the United States; and
(2) urges the people of the United States to join with the military community in observing the National Month of the Military Child with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor, support, and thank military children.