Military Families and Wounded Warriors

At a White House ceremony in January 2011, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined President Obama in a ceremony to announce President Obama’s initiative, Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America’s Commitment.   This webpage is intended to highlight the ways in which the Department of the Interior, in cooperation with other federal agencies including the Department of the Defense, will help our nation’s military families and wounded warriors.

“On behalf of the Department of the Interior and all its agencies, we applaud President Obama’s plan for all federal departments to use their resources to support the home and community challenges faced by our service members, military families and veterans,” Secretary Salazar said.  “As stewards of America’s great natural, cultural and historic treasures, we want to share them in all possible ways with our military families and veterans who have served our country as stewards of our security. The President and I believe that the 500 million acres of national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands that the Department manages provide unique opportunities for veterans and military families.”

Secretary Salazar has established “Support of Military Families and Veterans” as a high-priority component of the goals set for the Department of the Interior.  Interior initiatives outlined in the President’s Directive include:

  • Support of military families is an integral part of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.  This 21st conservation agenda calls for connecting all Americans with the outdoors and with our history and culture.  The Department of the Interior is working with the Department of Defense to provide expanded opportunities for military families to use Interior lands and recreational facilities for recovery…especially wounded warriors in their efforts to regain psychological health, reintegrate with family and rehabilitate.
  • Support of young veterans and children is a major part of Interior youth programs.  These programs aim to re-connect America’s youth with nature, encourage physical exercise and provide educational, recreational and employment opportunities for youth in conservation.  The Department of the Interior is one of the largest federal employers of youth ages 15-25 in conservation and is partnering with the Defense Department to identify military youth for employment opportunities.”
  • Support of employment of veterans.  “Our Country’s veterans are a tremendous potential source of well-qualified candidates for positions within the Department of the Interior who possess the skills, experience, leadership, and dedication to help the Department further its progress and mission,” the Secretary said.

Senior Advisor to the Secretary Robert Stanton, in cooperation with Interior’s Youth in the Great Outdoors and Veterans Employment Program Offices, is coordinating the Secretary’s efforts to carry out these goals.  

Interior’s Action Plan for Sharing Educational Opportunities, Healthful Recreation & Jobs in America’s Great Outdoors

Links to Relevant Web Sites: