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Public Statements

National Month of the Military Child

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I urge support for S. Res. 500, which honors military children. The children of our servicemen and women in the Armed Forces have been deeply affected by the invasion in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands of children have lost a parent serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and tens of thousands more must deal with the daily pressure of their parents' deployment. Military children clearly deserve our support.

Even in times of peace, these children pay a high price as they are typically required to move to many new locations several times during their formative years. The Department of Defense agrees that these multiple moves can make it more difficult for military children to do well in school, form lasting relationships with peers and adults, or cope with emotional issues ranging from loneliness to anger to depression.

In spite of all the challenges facing military children, they persevere. Children attending Department of Defense schools continue to have some of the highest test scores in the country. They rank 8th or better in all categories in comparison to the states in every national test, and they rank first or second in all categories for African-American and Hispanic students. Military children also have high school graduation and college enrollment rates significantly higher than the rest of the Nation's children. One study estimates that about 75 percent of children who graduate from high school with one or both of their parents in the military go on to college. That's significantly higher than the national average of 67 percent.

These are all accomplishments to be proud of. Military children unquestionably deserve our support, and the resolution offered by Senator Bayh recognizes them and pays tribute to their commitment, sacrifice and unconditional support for their parents and their country. These youth are the children of our national heroes and their perseverance, patriotism and achievements make them heroes in their own right.

Despite all the obstacles they face, military children continue to succeed. I commend Senator Bayh for his leadership in offering this important resolution and urge the Senate to support it.

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