Second Lady of the United States Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, visited Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., for her first time to talk to military spouses May 1.
After a brief meeting with Brig. Gen. Brook Leonard, 56th Fighter Wing commander, the Second Lady attended one of many listening sessions planned at military installations across the country with spouses in an effort to gain perspective into military spouse life.
“We’re going to spend the whole summer listening to spouses and some of the issues that they deal with that are unique to military spouses,” said Pence.
Spouses took turns introducing themselves and talking about some of their benefits and challenges.
“Today I specifically spoke about special needs children and transitioning from base to base and the accommodations that we need as we move,” said Miana Atkins, 56th FW Key Spouse.
Though many struggles of military life were brought up during the session with the Second Lady, several praises were discussed as well.
“Some of the benefits we hit on were the network that spouses have and that we build between each other,” said Christina Wendall, 56th FW Key Spouse.
“They might say, ‘being a military spouse is a difficult life,’ but there are so many benefits and so many rewards and it was so great to hear some of the stories they’ve had over the years,” said Pence.
As the Second Lady conversed with the spouses she offered words of encouragement and discusses bringing spouse concerns to the Department of Defense, Department of Labor and the American Red Cross.
“One thing I do know we can do, and we will absolutely do, and that’s raise awareness of how important our military spouses are,” said Pence.
As the listening session concluded Pence gave a military spouse bracelet to all who participated in the discussion to commemorate the occasion.