Senator Alexander To Chair Fort Campbell Hearing On Challenges Facing Military Parents Raising Children

Posted on May 30, 2003

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families, begins hearings Monday at Fort Campbell on challenges facing military parents raising children. "The United States Army is also a married army," Alexander said. "Half of our military is married, and nearly as many are parents raising children. We need to see what the impact of military service is on those marriages and those children." The purpose of these hearings is to see how well the military services are doing to make it easier for military families raising children and what can be done better. The field hearing at Ft. Campbell will focus on the Army. Witnesses will include Holly Petraeus, wife of Major General David H. Petraeus, Commander of the 101st Airborne Division. "We will examine how on-post schooling, frequent moves, housing, pay, taxes, and troop deployment impact the marriages and children of our military," Alexander said. On June 19 in Washington, D.C., Alexander's subcommittee and the Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, chaired by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), will continue with a joint hearing on military parents raising children. Chambliss is also chairing a hearing on the same subject in Macon, Georgia, on June 2. The ranking Democratic members of the two subcommittees, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), are planning to hold field hearings before June 19 in their respective states. Alexander said that the hearings on military parents raising children are the first in a series of hearings his subcommittee will hold on the larger question of "how federal laws and policies affect families raising children. Better parenting would do more than anything else to solve the problems — aside from terrorism — that worry Americans the most. The federal government can't raise children and shouldn't. But the federal government ought to make it easier instead of harder for parents raising children. For decades, many of our policies, for example, on taxation, work, education, have imposed huge burdens on parents raising children. Our purpose will be to put a spotlight on those policies that are helping and to change those policies that are hurting. Homeland security should begin at home."