President Bush on Friday honored military spouses across the nation and presented the Presidential Volunteer Service Award to six spouses who he said “represent the very best of what volunteering means,” according to a report by the American Forces Press Service.
“You cannot be a nation with a volunteer Army unless you honor the military families, and that’s what we’re doing today,” Bush told an audience in the White House’s East Room that included Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and more than 200 servicemembers and their families.
The ceremony marked Military Spouse Day, as proclaimed by the president Friday to recognize spouses’ sacrifices particularly during deployments.
Cindy Beerky, co-chairwoman of the Patriot Family Readiness Group, which provides information and resources to 500 military families of soldiers at Fort Lewis, Wash.
Michele Langford, president of the Coast Guard East Bay Spouse Association. Langford plans fundraising events for the annual scholarship which benefits dependent children of military members from all services.
Shannon Maxwell, co-founder of Hope for the Warriors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing servicemembers’ and their families’ quality of life. Her husband, Tim, a Marine, suffered a severe head injury in Iraq.
Linda Port, a Navy wife for nearly 21 years who mentors servicemember spouses through enlisted spouse support groups. During one of her husband’s deployments, she served as ombudsman for nearly 1,200 sailors and their spouses.
Denise Rampolla, who works for the 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming National Guard. Rampolla serves as a volunteer with the National Military Family Association, which strives to increase servicemembers’ and their families’ quality of life.
Michael Winton, the primary caregiver for his daughter while his wife serves in the Air Force, who also coaches sports teams, works with Habitat for Humanity and Fisher Nightingale Houses, visits veteran centers and volunteers to improve reading levels of at-risk children.