Region Recognized For “Unwavering Support” Of Military Community
January 19, 2017
Southeastern Connecticut is being recognized nationally for its support of the local military community.
The Southeastern Council of Governments received the designation of a "Great American Defense Community" for its "unwavering support to service members and military families." Seven other communities also were given the designation, which is new as of last year.
The announcement came late Wednesday from the Association of Defense Communities, which created the Great American Defense Communities program to highlight contributions made by cities, counties and regions that host military installations.
"No one individual can earn this award," said Bob Ross, executive director of the state's Office of Military Affairs and a member of the defense group's board of directors. "This is a community award. You have to be able to demonstrate that you have support in a lot of different sectors of the community."
Jim Butler, the executive director of the regional council and a member of the defense group, nominated the council for its support of various Navy, Coast Guard and National Guard installations as well as local service members and their families. The nomination packet specifically lists: the Military Superintendent Liaison Committee, which meets monthly to discuss school issues relevant to military children; the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut's Military Affairs Committee; the celebration of the Coast Guard's 225th birthday during the summer of 2015; and the 100th anniversary of the Naval Submarine Base and Naval Submarine School, which featured numerous events throughout 2016.
In the next six months, all of the recipients will host an event in their communities recognizing their selection and also attend a special reception and congressional breakfast during the Defense Communities National Summit in Washington, D.C., in late June.
"We want to have a great reputation and this adds to that," Ross said of the designation, adding that the nomination was not done with the idea of another round of base closings in mind. Although, he indicated the designation could help if there is another round in the future that impacts the region.