DOD Receives Military Family Support Award
By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2012 The Defense Department has been honored by a nonprofit organization for its collaboration with Congress in creating programs to support military families.
The National Military Family Association awarded its annual Support of Military Families Award to the department at a Sept. 24 reception on Capitol Hill that celebrated several longstanding supporters of military families.
Presenting the award, Mary Scott, chairman of the association’s board of governors, highlighted the many programs the department has created in partnership with congressional committees since Sept. 11, 2001, to support military families worldwide.
"Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, through the many deployments of all services, we have seen an incredible response in the development of programs and policies in support of the families of the uniformed services,” she said. “These honorees have authorized, funded, developed, and implemented these programs. We are thrilled to publicly recognize and honor these dedicated Americans."
Scott noted that shortly after terrorists hit the Pentagon with a hijacked plane, the department’s Office of Military Community and Family Policy quickly set up a family assistance center at a nearby hotel to help with immediate needs.
The family policy office “continued to address evolving challenges with innovative and responsive programs,” including Military OneSource which provided geographically-dispersed families information, support, and counseling through its toll-free phone number and website, Scott said. The office went on to create the Exceptional Family Member Program, which later evolved into today's Office for Military Families with Special Needs, and the Military Homefront website.
Charles E. Milam, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, accepted the award on behalf of the department. "We are grateful for our tremendous partnership with organizations such as the National Military Family Association," he said. "Together, we bring an incredible breadth and depth of talent to the challenges that military families face today. We are expanding our reach to families, wherever they live and serve.”