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Family Matters Blog: A Farewell Note of Gratitude

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2012 – It’s with some sadness that I announce my departure from American Forces Press Service, and my final week writing for the Family Matters Blog.

It seems like just yesterday -- but was nearly three years ago -- when I first sat down with my bosses to discuss starting a blog about military families for Defense.gov.

As a former airman, military spouse and mom, I hoped at the time I could adequately highlight families’ challenges, strengths and resilience, and to offer up some helpful information and resources. I hoped, by sharing families’ stories, I could help shine a light on their service and sacrifice.

When I was leaving active duty after eight years, we were just entering this decade of war. I transitioned to the government civilian sector well before the nearly back-to-back deployments taxed every service, both active duty and reserve.

I watched from the sidelines as military spouses handled deployment-related separations -- juggling parenting, household and careers – with strength and courage. I saw family members leave their homes, friends and jobs behind to care for their wounded loved ones. And I watched as their children marked milestones without a loved one, yet with pride and patriotism for their parent’s service.

I had started this blog thinking I could pass on some wisdom to these extraordinary military families, but it turned out they were the ones with lessons – of strength, resilience and sacrifice -- to offer.

I will never forget these amazing families and hope I was able, in some small way, to enlighten Americans about what they do each day.

While I’ll be sad to go, I’m happy to report Family Matters won’t end with my departure. My colleague, Lisa Daniel, will assume blog responsibilities later this week. Lisa is a fellow mom with military ties, and vast experience writing about the military, including family issues. I know she’ll do an outstanding job and I’ll be excited to follow the blog’s path in the future.

In the meantime, I’d like to thank all of my blog followers for their support, and all of the family members who have shared their stories with me over the past three years.

Most of all, thank you to all of our military families. I will continue to share your stories in the hopes that one day, all Americans will realize the depth of your service and sacrifice.


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