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News

Pence Salutes Service, Sacrifice of Military Families

By Lisa Ferdinando DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2017 - With military children gathered around him, Vice President Mike Pence saluted military families at an event at the White House yesterday.

"We're grateful that you're here at the White House today," Pence said. "We hope you leave here today with your hearts full of the assurance that the American people are grateful for those who serve in uniform and just as grateful for the families who stand by their side."

Pence hosted the event with his wife, Karen Pence, along with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and President Donald J. Trump's eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, for National Military Appreciation Month, which is observed in May, and National Military Spouse Appreciation Day, which is May 12.

"The president asked Karen and I to host this event today just as a way of saying thanks, paying a debt of gratitude to the families and the servicemen and women who are gathered here today who serve our country each and every day," the vice president said.

Pence said he and his wife are proud military parents who have the "great privilege of having a son and a daughter-in-law who are serving our country," he said. "Our son is in the United States Marine Corps," he added.

The reception at the vice president's ceremonial office included more than 150 members of military families from all branches of service.

Service Members Enlist, Families Serve

"Today is really about celebrating that while service members enlist, it's families that serve," Pence said, adding, "I want to give a rousing round of applause to the military spouses who are with us here today who keep the home fires burning and who support their spouses as they serve our country."

Pence also paid tribute to military family members who lost loves ones.

"You honor us by your presence, and I promise you, on behalf of the president of the United States, the American people will never forget your loved one or the sacrifice your family made for our freedom," he told the Gold Star families.

During the reception, the children had ice cream sundaes and colored pictures. A featured guest included the Pences' pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo.

"Marlon came today really just to say hi to you, and to say thank you to all the children," Karen Pence said as she held the black-and-white pet. "You guys were so nice."