Summit for military families Wednesday in Columbus

alopez@macon.comNovember 4, 2013 

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop is hosting a summit for military families Wednesday in Columbus.

The event will take place 7 a.m.-1 p.m. at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at 1775 Legacy Way at Fort Benning.

The purpose of the summit, according to a news release, is to connect military families with members of Congress, officials from the Department of Defense and family support organizations.

Issues to be covered in panel discussions include family health, spouse employment and education, military child education, transition assistance, retirement, benefits and financial readiness.

Bishop, a Democract who serves the state’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes a portion of Bibb County, is co-chairman of the Congressional Military Family Caucus, a bipartisan group made up of 80 Democrats and Republicans.

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia will provide the keynote speech along with his wife, Lisa Battaglia. The sergeant major is the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, covering all matters involving the utilization and health of the force and joint development for enlisted personnel.

Battaglia, who enlisted in 1979, has been deployed to Norway, Southwest Asia, the Persian Gulf and Iraq, among other places, according to his Department of Defense biography.

Bishop, who co-founded the Congressional Military Family Caucus, held a summit for military families in Columbus last year.

“Often we tend to focus primarily on the service members who willingly put themselves in harm’s way to protect the freedoms we cherish,” Bishop said in his introductory speech in 2012. “However, we cannot forget that the families they leave behind sacrifice just as much as our heroes who deploy on missions for our country. These families are impacted in countless ways -- seen and unseen -- and we have an obligation to do right by them.”

To contact writer Andres David Lopez, call 744-4382.

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