COLUMBIA, S.C. - Representatives from the South Carolina military community and their spouses gathered Tuesday at the State House in Columbia, South Carolina, for a proclamation reading by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, recognizing May as Military Spouse Appreciation Month in South Carolina.
Accompanying McMaster was the adjutant general for South Carolina, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., and his wife Barbara, Fort Jackson's Military Family of the Year, Staff Sgt. John Berta and his wife Agata, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Jerry Stevens and his wife Sarah, and other military members with the spouses from the South Carolina Army and Air National Guard. Receiving special recognition were four spouses of South Carolina Army National Guard Soldiers whose unit, the 1-151 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, has been deployed to Afghanistan since August. The group was also honored to have Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. (retired) James E. Livingston, join the presentation with his wife Sara, who were at the State House.
"South Carolina has a rich military tradition, and that is what has kept our state strong, with duty, honor and country," McMaster said. "It is my greatest honor to read this proclamation to say thank you to our military spouses who have sacrificed and done so much for our great state and nation."
The first Military Spouse Day proclamation was read by President Ronald Reagan May 23, 1984, to recognize the profound importance of a spouse's commitment to the readiness and well-being of military members. The Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, standardized the date by declaring the Friday proceeding Mother's Day as Military Spouse Day. Since then, Congress officially made Military Spouse Appreciation Day part of National Military Appreciation Month in May in 1999 and military organizations have since dedicated the month of May to recognize military spouses and families.
"We do what we do because of our families," said Livingston. "We are blessed as a nation and it is a privilege to be able to serve. We are grateful for our spouses for being that cornerstone."