National Military Family Association State of the Military Family Summit 2023
Military teens and the next generation of military spouse advocates took the stage at today’s annual State of the Military Family Summit. Hosted by NMFA, this premiere event brings together military families, partners, and policy makers to discuss the experience of military families in 2023.
From military spouses advocating for policy change to military teens discussing how growing up in a military family shaped their idea of service, the event highlighted the importance of service both in and out of uniform.
This year’s Summit showcased the ways that spirit of service motivates our community. A panel of military spouse advocates, moderated by Maryland State Senator and former MSJDN President Dawn Gile, spoke of the work they’re doing for EFMP families, military spouse entrepreneurs, family building and infertility, along with promoting democracy through our elections. When there was a problem to solve, these military spouses stood up and spoke out on behalf of military families, strengthening our entire community as they did.
The bi-partisan Congressional Club took that commitment a step further, announcing the exciting outcome of their 2022 First Lady’s Luncheon: a $50,000 named scholarship supporting military spouses, like those on the panel, pursuing careers in public service.
True to NMFA’s promise to always have a seat at the table for military teens, the Summit hosted a conversation with four military teens, some committed to serving in the military, others determined to serve their communities in new ways out of uniform. All shared how military life inspired their idea of service and the way it informs their own paths, and their conversation moderated by Sharene Brown, spouse of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and founder of Five and Thrive.
Our teen panelists showcased how important that connection is – and how many of them have found it through Bloom: Empowering the Military Teen, now part of NMFA.
“There is no age or time limit to being kind.” said one of our teen panelists. Kindness, he affirmed, is a function of service. “It’s the Golden Rule.”
Service runs in our families. As Jaymes Poling of Modern Warrior Live told the room, “Military service doesn’t just leave us veterans with weight. As we’ve seen today, the families carry theirs, too.
After seeing that we can’t carry all the weight individually, how can we lighten the load? It takes a village, but before that, it takes a family.”
At NMFA, we’re committed to serving and supporting military families. For more on the panelists and a list of the supporters who make it all happen, check out the event program.