A group of 20 senators has formed a new Senate Military Family Caucus. The membership roster of the bipartisan group was announced on Wednesday. The caucus will focus on issues facing the families of veterans and men and women on active duty in the armed forces. The organization was created to work on substantive issues including childcare, education, employment, health care and the effects of multiple deployments on the mental health and well-being of spouses, caregivers and children. The caucus is headed by Sens. Barbara Boxer and Richard Burr. Sanders, in addition to joining the caucus, also serves on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
When 1,500 Vermont National Guard members were deployed to Afghanistan, Sanders thanked them for their service, of course, but he also voiced appreciation for their loved ones in Vermont. “I want to say a word to the spouses and the kids and the parents of those who are being deployed,” he said at one of several deployment ceremonies. “Everybody understands that it is not just the men and women who are being deployed who are sacrificing for this country. We all understand that you are sacrificing as well,” he told the family members. “In our small state we intend to do everything we can for you in their absence.”
One way Sanders has made good on that commitment was to secure $1.6 million for childcare support for families. The childcare services include programs at state-licensed childcare centers, licensed family-care facilities, or licensed before- and after-school programs and camps.