Today, Second Lady Karen Pence traveled to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she delivered a speech to a crowd of military spouses and soldiers on the significant role military spouses play in the defense of our country. Today’s speech marks the beginning of Mrs. Pence’s campaign to elevate, encourage, and thank our nation’s military spouses wherever she may go. Since starting her role as Second Lady, Mrs. Pence has participated in roundtable discussions and met with military spouses of all branches throughout the United States and some parts of the world. Through those listening sessions, she has gained a better understanding of life in the military.

“The strength of our nation does not just come from the people in uniform who fight to protect our freedoms. The spouses and families, who serve alongside them, also make tremendous sacrifices to the greater benefit of our country,” said Mrs. Pence. “Military spouses are incredible people. They are competent, well-educated, flexible, hardworking, and tremendous assets to our country and communities. It is imperative that we support our military spouses and their children because they play a significant role in the defense of our country.”

While at Fort Carson, Mrs. Pence distributed care packages called “With you All the Way! Dealing with Deployment Comfort Kits” to children with a parent deployed. Last week, Mrs. Pence, joined by spouses of members of Congress, assembled and packed 500 Comfort Crew kits for the children at Fort Carson. Three 4th Infantry Division brigades, the 10th Field Hospital, and members of the special operations community are currently deployed. A fourth brigade is preparing to deploy later this year.  Each kit contains an animated DVD to let kids know they aren’t alone; a guided journal to express and understand their feelings; a teddy bear that offers comfort and companionship; a guidebook that contains information for the whole family; and items to help keep the family connected during the separation.

The following military spouses traveled with Mrs. Pence to Fort Carson to show their support for the Second Lady’s role: Mrs. Leah Esper, wife of Secretary of the Army, Dr. Mark T. Esper; Hollyanne Milley, wife of the Army’s Chief of Staff, General Mark A. Milley; Mrs. Dawn Goldfein, wife of the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force General David L. Goldfien; Mrs. Sally Lengyel, wife of the Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Joseph L. Lengyel; Mrs. Dawn Schultz, wife of the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Karl L. Schultz; and Mrs. Karen Kelly, wife of White House Chief of Staff General John Kelly.

To stay updated on the Second Lady’s visits, follow her on Twitter at, @SecondLady.