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President Obama signed a proclamation Thursday designating November as Military Family Month and calling on Americans to honor military families through private actions and public service.
"In our military families, we see the best our country has to offer," he wrote.
He described the challenges military families face on a regular basis with regular moves and deployments, and highlighted their strength. "With loved ones serving far from home, military spouses take on the work of two. Their children show courage and resilience as they move from base to base, school to school, home to home.
"And even through the strain of deployment, military families strengthen the fabric of each community they touch and enrich our national life as shining examples of patriotism."
Noting that everyone has a solemn duty to serve the military and their families, he described the Joining Forces efforts of first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, aimed at mobilizing Americans to give troops and their families opportunities and support: for example, hiring veterans, helping military children in the classroom, and giving assistance to those who care for wounded warriors.
"This month, we reaffirm that we will always lift up our military families — not just when their loved ones are away, but also long after the welcome home ceremonies are over," Obama wrote.
The Armed Services YMCA began the tradition of celebrating November as military family appreciation month, before it was etched into national tradition.