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President Calls Families "Heart of our Nation's Armed Forces"

Special to American Forces Press Service

SPRINGFIELD, Va., Oct. 25, 1999 – "Our military families are the heart of our nation's Armed Forces," President Clinton said in his 1999 Military Family Week message, released Oct 15 through the Armed Services YMCA.

"Time and again, military duty has called our young uniformed men and women to trouble spots around the world," Clinton said. "And time and again, answering that call to duty has meant that families would be separated -- for months and sometimes years at a time."

The armed forces celebrate Military Family Week each year during the Thanksgiving Holiday week, this year Nov. 21-28. Many installations hold special events related to family life during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Chaplains and local churches recognize families during their services and programs.

The Armed Services YMCA, as in past years, prepared Military Family Week materials and disseminated them to military installations around the world. Included in the packets are copies of the 1999 Military Family Week poster, featuring the art of ASYMCA poster contest winner Cecilia Javier, 11, whose father is a master sergeant at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.

The poster and the 1999 presidential greeting are posted on the Armed Services YMCA Web site. Other winners in this year's art contest also are posted. Commands, installation agencies, and military news media are welcome to use the information in local family week observations.

For additional information, contact Ralph Blanchard, rblanchard@asymca.org, or Susan Brown, sbrown@asymca.org, or by phone at (703) 866-1260.

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