November 17th, 2009 18:22 EST
Jill Biden Visits Military Families At Nellis
by Airman Cynthia A. Haughton
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
11/16/2009 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, visited Nellis Air Force Base Nov. 15 to learn about the family support programs available at the base.
To gain a greater understanding of those support programs, Doctor Biden, who received her doctorate in education from the University of Delaware, was briefed by the staff of the Airman and Family Readiness Center about their Caring for People Program. She also received briefings about the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program and education programs at Nellis.
"It`s great to hear how hard people are working to help military families," Doctor Biden said.
She said her goal here was to listen to military families to see what is and isn`t working, and to take that information back to Washington.
"All issues that military families face relate to what we`re working on in Washington," she said. "I think it`s moving in a positive direction."
Doctor Biden noted that in Washington, they are aware of challenges with moving to a new assignment, deployments and education for military children.
"We`re trying to make life easier for military families," she said.
Doctor Biden said all military families face the same challenges during deployments, so they naturally identify with each other.
"One good thing about the military is that people support one another," she said. "So many people supported me when my son was deployed."
After the briefings, Doctor Biden ate lunch with three military families and she met with families of the Thunderbirds.
Tech. Sgt. Steven Brettler, assistant to the 57th Wing command chief, and his family had the opportunity to discuss their concerns with Doctor Biden over lunch.
"We talked about how the mortgage and housing crisis affects military members at Nellis and about our concerns with the imbalance in the education system," Sergeant Brettler said. "She is someone who can possibly make a difference, especially because she has a background in education, and she has a soft spot for military members and their families."
Air Force officials have found a changing America and evolving missions make it necessary to expand and enhance Air Force family support programs. In order to meet these needs, July 2009 to July 2010 was designated the "Year of the Air Force Family" by the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force.
The Year of the Air Force Family aims to help people reach their personal and professional goals while maintaining a wartime operations tempo, and it is built around and focuses on four pillars of emphasis: health and wellness; Airman and family support; education, development and employment; and Airman and family housing.