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President Thanks Military Families

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 1997 – President Bill Clinton thanked military families for the sacrifices they make on behalf of the nation and for their successes in meeting the challenges of military life.

"Since I became president I have seen firsthand the selflessness and dedication that characterize military families," he wrote in a letter supporting the Armed Services YMCA's 1997 Military Family Week. "I have seen firsthand the selflessness and dedication that characterize military families, and I join the Armed Services YMCA in thanking these families for their service and sacrifice. Family is the foundation of American life. When we have stronger families, we will have a stronger America."

Military Family Week this year is Nov. 23 through 30, coinciding with Thanksgiving. YMCA observances included an art contest for elementary school children of military and DoD civilian employee families. The YMCA awarded a child from each service a $500 U.S. Savings Bond and chose one as the 1997 Military Family Week poster, copies of which have been mailed to family centers around the world.

This year's poster winner is eight-year-old Aline Villanueva, daughter of Air Force Staff Sgt. Evangeline Villanueva of Aviano, Italy.

Other winners were:

  • Cristina Jannett Wright, 9, daughter of Army Sgt. 1st Class Bayford Wright, Wiesbaden, Germany;
  • Brittany Norris, 9, daughter of Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Ken Norris, Mobile, Ala.;
  • Renee Pou, 11, daughter of Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Robert Pou, Twentynine Palms, Calif.;
  • Alicia Simpson, 11, daughter of Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Simpson, Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
(From an Armed Services YMCA release)
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