Mr. STIVERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize April as the ``Month of the Military Child.''
In 1986, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger established April as the Month of the Military Child. Since then, the communities that surround our military families have had the month of April as a time to focus on recognizing the important roles that military children play.
There is no doubt that we owe a great debt and gratitude to our military for the unparalleled freedom and opportunity we enjoy in this country. But, we need to pause and remember that this is also made possible through the dedication and sacrifices made by their families and children as well. While I understand it is important to show our support for the military and their loved ones every day of the year, I welcome the emphasis placed on the children of service members in the month of April.
As a way to offer my continued support and gratitude, I recently introduced H.R. 4341, TRICARE for Kids, which would help the Department of Defense and its TRICARE program develop and encourage health care practices and policies that are designed to address the specific health care needs of military children and families. The Department of Defense estimates there are approximately 1.9 million military children, and I believe we all need to work to ensure they have access to the resources and support that best meets their needs--including health care.
Without the selfless contributions our military and their families have made throughout history, our great nation would not have the freedom that it does today. Military children are a special part of that aspect of our history, as they are the young, brave, and often unnoticed heroes who have stood strong alongside their parents who have risked their lives and fought for our country and way of life. I thank every one of them for what they do, and I would like to ask every Member of Congress to join me in offering support throughout this Month of the Military Child.