Second Lady Karen Pence spoke Wednesday at the Republican National Convention to honor those in the U.S. military.
Pence highlighted stories about American heroes, starting with the women in the Suffrage movement, and then went on to praise the sacrifice of U.S. military personnel and their spouses.
“As Second Lady of the United States for the past three and a half years, I have had the honor of meeting many heroes across this great country,” Pence said.
The Second Lady spoke with pride about members who serve in the U.S. military, including members of her own family; her son Michael, who serves in the Marines, and her son-in-law Henry, who serves in the Navy. She applauded their spouses as heroes too, because of their sacrifice.
“You know, military spouses may experience frequent moves and job changes, periods of being a single parent while their loved one is deployed, all while exhibiting pride, strength, and determination, and being a part of something bigger than themselves,” she said.
Pence highlighted President Donald Trump and the vice president’s unwavering commitment to military families. She said she travels around to speak to families about policy changes the Trump administration is enacting in areas like military spouse employment.
In 2018, Mrs. Pence launched an awareness campaign to encourage the nation’s military spouses.
The Second Lady spoke about military spouses she met who shared their stories of being able to start a small business, one making handbags and another starting a restaurant, thanks to the Trump administration’s initiatives for military families.
In addition, Pence spoke about art therapy services with a veteran’s initiative that she championed to help veterans living with PTSD.
“Master Gunnery Sergeant Christo, a marine veteran I met in Tampa who deployed for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, said nothing had helped him deal with the trauma from his service in the Marines until he finally agreed to meet with the art therapist at Walter Reed Medical Center,” she said.
She said Christo credits the art therapy program with saving his life and his marriage, and enabling him to start a small glass-blowing business.
“Many of our veteran heroes struggle, as they transition back into civilian life, and sometimes the stress is too difficult to manage alone.
“A few weeks ago, I had the honor of speaking with some amazing Americans who answer the Veterans Crisis Line,” she continued, in reference to the Trump administration’s work to prevent veteran suicide.
In January, Pence accepted the honor of being the lead ambassador of PREVENTS, which stands for the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide.
She closed off the night by rallying women and all viewers to exercise their right to vote.