By J.G. Noll
Over the past week, Karen Pence, the Second Lady of the United States, has held a number of events and audiences with female service members and spoke with the press about military families. The events came at the end of Women’s History Month. March was also a tumultuous month for the military and for its female service members as the Marines United Facebook scandal broke and cast a harsh, public light on social media harassment and revenge porn within the military and veteran communities.
Mrs. Pence welcomed female service members into the official vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory on March 23, according to The Military Times:
“I just want you to know how much we appreciate you,” she told the audience of about three dozen women representing all five service branches. “… It’s not an easy place to be where you are, and I think we’re learning that more and more in the position that we’re in.”
The Second Lady also received female service members at Fort Meade, where she had lunch with them at the Freedom Inn Dining Facility, on March 20. Before the lunch, she toured Fort Meade. According to The Capitol Gazette, Mrs. Pence had been asked by the First Lady, Melania Trump, to honor women in some way during the month of March: “Our son is in the military and just got married, so I want to do something for female spouses, but I also wanted to spend a day or two reaching out to women who actually are in the military.”
At Naval Air Station Meridian, where her son is currently stationed, she spoke with female sailors and Marines and military wives. More than 175 spouses attended from three different groups.
“I think it is important to let these ladies know we support you. We are here for you and it is O.K. to ask for help. Not even just help. It is nice to be with other spouses who are going through the same thing and just go out and have fun,” Mrs. Pence said.
Mrs. Pence also spoke with FOX & Friends about her admiration for the service and sacrifice of military families.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) March 27, 2017
While the Pences and their former predecessors share little when it comes to politics, they have a Blue Star connection. The Pences’ son is currently serving in the Marines as a pilot. Former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, were Blue Star parents during their time in the White House; their deceased son Beau served with the Delaware Army National Guard. Dr. Biden used this experience to co-create Joining Forces with former First Lady Michelle Obama, in order to better serve military families. Having Blue Star parents in the White House or vice president’s mansion is a rare event; the last time a Blue Star father served as Vice President, mullets were in style. Vice President George H.W. Bush’s son, future President George W. Bush, served in the Texas Air National Guard, but was not currently serving at the time his father was elected.
J.G. Noll is the Editor of Military One Click and a veteran’s spouse. She can be reached at [email protected]