Supporting Army Families

Article excerpt

Secretary of the Army Pete M. Geren took a firm stand in support of Army families in his keynote address at the AUSA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in October. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Secretary Geren pledged to give Army families "a quality of life equal to their quality of service" to the nation during wartime, saying that Army families play an integral role in and contribute greatly to the fight and acknowledging the degree of sacrifice they bear for the good of the nation.

Secretary Geren said that the Army Family (soldiers, spouses and children) is "shouldering the burden for 300 million Americans and most of the free world" and that the health of the all-volunteer force in wartime depends on the health of the Army Family.

"Ours is a combat Army. It is a strong Army. However, if we are complacent, if we ignore the lessons learned and warning signs of six years of war, the seams that are exposed in the crucible of combat, in the field or on the home front, our Army soldiers and families will wear down," Secretary Geren said.

"For 500,000 spouses and 700,000 children, six years of war is uncharted territory," he added. "And we know the family support systems from before September 11, 2001, are no longer adequate. We have incorporated the lessons learned from six years on the battlefield in supporting our soldiers. We must incorporate lessons learned from six years on the home front in supporting our families. …