Military Spouse Magazine

NOV 2018

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Page 19 of 35

MS: So what is next? What are the next steps? SL: The one thing I know I can do over the next two and a half years is encourage and elevate military spouses. Whether we get anything actually done as far as licensure or childcare, we can at least make people aware of some of the unique challenges military spouses have... The other thing we want to do is tell the great stories that military spouses have. There are so many amazing stories about what a great experience it is to be a military spouse. Those close friendships. They're part of a club that nobody else really understands what it's like and those bonds. You go through something together that none of the rest of us really go through… we want to elevate them. We want to talk about them. We want to encourage them. But the other thing is that we're working re- ally hard to make businesses aware that military spouses need employment. They need unique types of employment that can move with them from state to state or country to country when they have to go through a PCS. That is something that we are trying to make businesses aware of… There are a lot of people who just don't real- ize that and we find that a lot of businesses are coming alongside. So we're excited about that… MS: You've had a lot of moves and differ- ent transitions for your own spouse's job. Do you find that you can relate a little bit to the experiences of military spouses? SL: Well, we've moved 14 times, so I am a spouse who has had to move because of her husband's job and try to find employment. And I know that when Mike was governor, I couldn't keep teaching and I tried nine different places to find a job as First Lady of Indiana and was never hired. So I understand that because of your spouse's job, it can be difficult to get em- ployment, and it did kind of touch my heart. When I taught in Virginia, a lot of the teachers and teacher aides that I worked with were military spouses, and I started hear- ing some of the issues they faced but really some of the amazing experiences as well. So I just thought, you know these spouses are at-home moms, at-home dads, they're working with three or four kids while their spouse is deployed, it's very difficult. It's difficult to be that single parent. Even if you don't have any children it's difficult to have your spouse gone for six months, nine months, a year at a time. That's not easy. MS: How can military spouses get involved with what you are doing? Be a part and help you, and have our voices heard? SL: You know probably the best way to do that is actually getting involved at their post because what we found yester- day when we did our kickoff, on the plane coming home, we sat and talked with some of the Joint Chiefs spouses—and they were phenomenal—and they said our goal is always to get information all of the way down the line. And that is one of the biggest problems is getting new spouses to understand you need to go to the website, call people, you need to get involved. So that is really the best way to help out. H M I LS P O U S E ADVO CATES To read the entire interview with Mrs. Pence, visit . To keep up to date with Mrs. Pence's efforts with military spouses, visit . JULY 2011 Former First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden. NOVEMBER 2015 Sen. Elizabeth Dole. MARCH 2016 Corie Weathers with former Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter and wife Stephanie Carter. OCTOBER 2018 Lakesha Cole and Sen. Tim Kaine. "FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING THAT YOU DO," SAID MRS. PENCE WHEN SHE APPEARED AT FORT CARSON, COLO. "WE CAN NEVER THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR THE SACRIFICES THAT YOU MAKE. YOUR SERVICE TO OUR NATION CANNOT BE OVERSTATED." "NOBODY VOTED FOR ME OR ELECTED ME; I DON'T HANDLE POLICY, I DON'T TRY TO GO IN AND ACT LIKE I AM SOMEONE WHO WAS ELECTED, BUT I CAN RAISE AWARE- NESS AND I CAN CONNECT GROUPS. SO WE JUST ASKED THE SPOUSES, WHAT DO WANT US TO TALK ABOUT?" 20 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / NOVEMBER 2018

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