The Army must do everything it can to prevent an increase in the number of homeless veterans, said Deanie Dempsey, wife of the nation's top military officer, Gen. Martin Dempsey, March 3.
Gen. Dempsey "says, we can't break faith with families, we can't break faith with veterans because, with the budget going down, if we find veterans that don't have jobs, don't have housing, it's incumbent on us to not break faith with them," said Dempsey in response to an audience question after her speech at Military.com's March 3 Spouse Summit. "I don't know what those numbers will be, and I can't say whether the homeless number will go up or down, I don't know. I can tell you that we're all watching it, and I give you my word for my husband because it's his word, that we will do everything we possibly can to make sure that is avoided."
The Pentagon's fiscal year 2013 budget proposes to cut more than 100,000 troops from the ranks as the Defense Department looks to save roughly $487 billion in the next ten years.
Dempsey also urged the military spouses gathered at the conference, held in Arlington Virginia, to keep telling their stories in order to gain more attention to the challenges facing military spouses.
"As we work to address these issues of family needs, health care, employment, I believe the more and more people are starting to realize that this group represents a tremendous source of strength," said Dempsey. "You are resilient, accomplished, experienced men and women who possess strong values and an even stronger work ethic and you are the best teammates anybody could have . . . Keep telling your story, tell it to each other, tell it to the greater American public."
Guest blogger John Reed is a reporter for Military.com where he regularly blogs about technology issues at Defense Tech.