(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) led a bipartisan group, including Senators 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), and introduced a bipartisan Senate Resolution recognizing the month of April, 2013 as the National Month of the Military Child.
“Too often the sacrifices families make when their loved ones serve go unnoticed,” Senator Murray said. “I am so proud to join Senator Ayotte in co-sponsoring this resolution to honor the unprecedented sacrifices that military children have made, and continue to make.”
“As the spouse of a veteran and the mother of two young children, I know firsthand the commitments required of military families, including the children of service members,” Senator Ayotte said. “I am pleased to join Senator Murray in introducing a resolution that recognizes the daily sacrifices made by military children while their loved ones are away serving our country.”
It is estimated that of the more than 2 million men and women serving in the Armed Forces, 43.9% 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.