Karen Pence expresses admiration for military spouses at conference

Karen Pence, right, receives a lei at the 2017 Joint Spouses’ Conference.
Photo courtesy of Brister Thomas

Don Robbins

Editor, Ho’okele

Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, shared gratitude for military spouses as the keynote speaker at last month’s 2017 Joint Spouses’ Conference, an annual conference for all military spouses held this year at Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall in Honolulu.

“You’ve had to leave your homes, you’ve had to give up or postpone your personal aspirations, and even change careers. I for one admire your steadfast devotion to your spouses and our nation,” Pence said in her speech.

Each year a different branch of military operates the conference.

This year the Army hosted the event and chairperson of workshops Jodi Peterson invited Pence.

“As military spouses we are in a constant state of giving up things we love, redefining our passions and starting from scratch. Mrs. Pence was an Air Force child, is a Marine mother and has dedicated her life to supporting Mike Pence on his journey,” Peterson said.

“To know our demographic is understood by the executive branch is a breath of fresh air. Having Mrs. Pence travel to Oahu, specifically to honor military spouses was everything. I was honored beyond words that she carved out time to recognize military spouses and our sacrifices,” Peterson added.

Pence participated in some of the conference workshops held this year.

The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Aloha Girls State hosted a workshop on “The Living Lei” and presented Pence with an Ali‘i Pikake lei.

“To be able to present the ‘second lead spouse’ of our country with aloha today was a momentous occasion,” said Brister Thomas, the director of the ALA Girls State in Hawaii.

“As a military spouse, we do so much and really do not expect anything in return. However, when someone reaches out, looks you in the eye and says a heartfelt, ‘thank you,’ it truly touches our hearts,” Thomas said.

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Category: News