National Military Family Group Honors General, Mrs. Myers
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 27, 2005 The National Military Family Association honored Air Force Gen. Richard B. and Mary Jo Myers during the group's annual luncheon today.
Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Mary Jo, were honored June 27 by the National Military Family Association for their leadership and dedication to improving the lives of military families. Photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, USAF
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The group honored the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his wife for their leadership and dedication to improving the lives of military families.
Mary Jo Myers thanked the group for the tribute and thanked military members and their families around the world for their service. "You never know the strength of something until its been tested," she said. "Our men and women in uniform and their families have certainly been tested in the days especially since 9/11. Their steadfastness, their selflessness just never ceases to amaze men and inspire me."
Mrs. Myers spoke of the ways in which family members serve. She spoke of the widowed mother of a casualty at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who had to get back to her teaching job. "She also serves," Myers said.
She spoke of a husband holding down the fort at home and running a business while his wife was deployed. "He also serves," Mrs. Myers said.
She spoke movingly about a grandmother who took care of her grandchildren after her son was seriously wounded. "She also serves," she said.
She told of a widow who tried to comfort others as she grieved. "She also serves," she said.
Mrs. Myers said that families are better able to cope with the stress they have and the issues they face because of organizations like the National Military Family Association.
General Myers spoke about the responsibility to take care of families. The days of the military not caring about families is over. The chairman said that families are very important, "but the time you realize how important is when the going gets tough."
He said the times are challenging and that there is a lot "riding on the backs of today's military."
The chairman said the key to U.S. military readiness is how the country takes care of its families. "This saying goes back a long time, but we really do recruit the individual but retain the family," he said. "The decisions are made around the dinner table."
It is more difficult today than in the past for families to just pick up and move, the general said. Spouses have careers and often provide big portions of the family income. Servicemembers and families also want more predictability in their lives. Organizations like the National Military Family Association help drive change for military families, he noted.