Second Lady Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, is scheduled to visit Fort Bragg Friday as the headline speaker for the inaugural Military OneSource Live event. The event coincides with the White House’s advocacy for military spouse employment, as well as Pence’s personal interest in art therapy.
“Military OneSource is a … program that… (provides) a wide range of individualized consultations, coaching and non-medical counseling for every aspect of military life,” according to Bruce Moody, an official with the Department of Defense.
One of the highlights of the event is a workshop surrounding art therapy and its benefits in aiding service members in healing. Despite the nascent art therapy workshop’s ribbon-cutting and Pence’s history of supporting art therapy — such as her appearance last year at Florida State University’s art therapy program or her own career as an artist — the Second Lady’s communications director, Kara Brooks, said Pence’s speech will not be “about art therapy.”
“Rather,” Brooks said in a statement, “(the Second Lady) will provide words of encouragement … and highlight the administration’s work to improve employment opportunities for military spouses.”
The administration’s efforts in spousal employment are complemented by an initiative started in early September to ease frustrations that service spouses have regarding relicensing or recertification costs for professional licenses — which are now reimbursable by the federal government, as reported by Military Times.
With more than 200 participants registered, the Second Lady’s high public profile is expected to encourage turnout and place a spotlight on Military OneSource — especially given the event’s availability to service members and their spouses, said Tom McCollum, Fort Bragg garrison public affairs officer.
“We are honored to have Mrs. Pence on Fort Bragg to help us draw attention to the services available from Military OneSource and Army Community Services,” McCollum said.
Pence’s remarks to the assembled will be noon at the Family Readiness Center (FRC), followed by the Military OneSource’s free workshops throughout the day. Moody expressed plans for more similar events to be held “in collaboration with installation personnel,” contingent on the needs and desires of each local military community.
“From our youngest service members, to those who are retiring,” Moody said, their mission is to connect them to their best life within and without uniform.
Pence’s visit will shine a light on these efforts, as well as the progressing campaign for the best lives for military spouses and those they love.