Today, Second Lady Karen Pence traveled to Pensacola to encourage military spouses and meet with the Blue Angels team members at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, best known as the “Cradle of Naval Aviation.”.
At NAS Pensacola, Mrs. Pence participated in a senior leadership briefing and received an overview of the mental health and military spouse programs. Representatives of the mental health and military spouse programs gave an overview of NAS Pensacola’s Fleet and Family Support Center. The Center offers a variety of free classes and services to assist military families such as stress management, emergency preparedness, and parenting for expectant families. The Center also offers the Family Employment Readiness Program (FERP), which provides military spouses with professional employment assistance and education. Additionally, senior leaders gave an update on the resources the base offered families in preparation and response to Hurricane Sally. As part of the discussion, Mrs. Pence highlighted her role with PREVENTS and discussed the importance of addressing mental health and providing quality resources and services to service members and their families.
Following the briefing, Mrs. Pence visited the Blue Angels practice area and viewed a flight demonstration. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blue Angels had to cancel their public appearances and airshows. Earlier this year, they teamed up with the Air Force Thunderbirds to fly over communities to salute healthcare workers, first responders, military, and other essential workers. Mrs. Pence thanked them for these special flyovers and for providing encouragement throughout the pandemic. The Blue Angels pilots met with Mrs. Pence and talked about their team, their new planes, and how they’ve been modifying their season due to the pandemic.
At the Pensacola Veterans Memorial Park, Mrs. Pence delivered remarks to military spouses thanking them for their important contributions to the United States Armed Forces. She recognized the many sacrifices they make through their families’ service to our country, including the challenges they face in finding and sustaining a meaningful job. Military spouses face unique barriers to employment opportunities due to their frequent moves and varying occupational licensing state requirements.
During Mrs. Pence’s remarks, she outlined the Trump Administration’s efforts to create employment solutions for military spouses. The accomplishments include increased funding for a transition assistance curriculum for military spouses, a doubled relicensing reimbursement amount for spouses who relocate due to PCS orders, and meetings with governors to address occupational licensing reforms on a statewide level.
Second Lady’s Military Spouse Campaign
Mrs. Pence launched an awareness campaign in September of 2018 to elevate and encourage military spouses while also recognizing their unique employment challenges. Mrs. Pence has traveled the country meeting spouses, business leaders, and government officials advocating for more fulfilling career opportunities for military spouses.