Colorado SpringsMilitaryNews

Karen Pence, wife of VP, makes Fort Carson stop to boost military spouse morale

Author: Tom Roeder, The Gazette - September 14, 2018 - Updated: September 27, 2018

Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, poses with a military spouse at Fort Carson on Sept. 13. (Photo by Kelsey Brunner, The Gazette)

Karen Pence kicked off a Trump administration effort to boost military spouses with a stop at Fort Carson on Thursday, and the vice president’s spouse said her recent move to Washington has helped her relate to the plight of military families.

“I have gained a better understanding,” Pence said as she outlined Trump initiatives to help spouses find steady work amid the nomadic life of military families.

Pence also has a son in the Marine Corps, making military issues hit close to home.

“Your stories of strength, tenacity, generosity and courage inspire me and so many other Americans,” Pence said.

On the trip, Pence, who was first lady of Indiana before her husband, Mike Pence, was elected vice president, was joined by some of Washington’s most senior military wives, including Hollyanne Milley, wife of Army chief Gen. Mike Milley and Dawn Goldfein, wife of Air Force chief Gen. David Goldfein.

Pence praised President Donald Trump for inking an executive order that gives military spouses preference for government jobs and a 2019 defense policy bill that will reimburse military families when they must transfer professional licenses state to state.

“We are listening, and the Trump administration is addressing your challenges,” she said.

Pence, a former schoolteacher, also came to Colorado Springs bearing gifts. After her speech, she handed out 500 care packages to Fort Carson children of deployed troops. The boxes included a teddy bear and an encouraging video.

Spouses, who mobbed Pence for photographs after her speech, said they found encouragement in the high-level attention being paid to the challenges they face.

“It was absolutely awesome,” she said.

Brittany Tucker, whose husband joined the Army last year, said knowing others understand the difficulties of military life gave her a boost.

“It’s very important,” she said.

Pence’s campaign to promote military spouse issues will continue next week when she is expected to visit Fort Bragg, N.C.

Tom Roeder, The Gazette

Tom Roeder, The Gazette