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Family Matters Blog: Army Secretary Vows Support for Programs

By Heather Forsgren Weaver
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1, 2010 – Heather Forsgren Weaver of American Forces Press Service is a regular contributor to Family Matters. Heather's been heavily involved in this blog from the start. She edits, helps write and posts content on a daily basis.

In this blog, Heather writes about a visit Army Secretary John McHugh made to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., where he vowed to maintain funding for family programs.

Secretary McHugh Remains Committed to Family Services

Army Secretary John McHugh is "strongly committed" to making soldiers and family services a top priority, he told the Northwest Guardian newspaper, the local newspaper for Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

"When it comes to any budget cuts, should that time arrive, that's the very last place we'll look, not the first and that's different than years past because I think there was a real tendency to go to the kinds of dollars that we're supporting in those programs," Secretary McHugh said.

Don Kramer, a reporter for the Guardian, wrote about Secretary McHugh's two-day visit to Washington in "Secretary of the Army Pledges Support for Soldier, Family Programs."

The Army is doing a better job in how it welcomes soldiers home after deployment and reintegrates them, Secretary McHugh told Kramer.

"For a long time, we, if not overlooked, certainly misunderstood the complexity of bringing a soldier back home, reintroducing them into a totally different environment than he or she had been experiencing during that deployment, helping the families to come together as well," Secretary McHugh said. "They're human beings and it's not just a switch you can turn on or off. We need to ensure they have the support and facilities necessary to do that."

Secretary McHugh has been downrange many times, he told Kramer.

"I've had a chance to go to Iraq 15 times now and Afghanistan five and it always takes my breath away to get out there and see these young soldiers doing incredibly important, often incredibly dangerous things with such competence and such bravery. You can't understand the depth of it until you really see it…. They really create a debt that we can never truly repay," Secretary McHugh said.

To comment on this blog, please visit the Family Matters blog.

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