President Donald Trump recognized mothers serving in uniform, those married to service members, and those with children in the military during an event at the White House on Friday, thanking them for their service and wishing them a happy Mother’s Day.
“Military mothers are the backbone of America,” he said. “Your unwavering dedication and support strengthens our entire nation. Today we honor you, we celebrate you, we salute you, and everything that you do — so many things, so many great things for our country.”
He addressed the crowd of military mothers in attendance separately.
“To the active-duty moms here today, we thank you for your courage and we applaud your noble service. You have two of the most important jobs in the world. Bravely defending America from our enemies, and helping to raise the next generation of American patriots,” he said.
“You’ve spent Mothers Days on ships out at seas, on bases in faraway lands, and staring down foreign threats in very dangerous areas, and you’ve done it all out of love for family, for country, and for duty. Our nation is forever in your debt. Thank you very much,” he said.
Next, he honored mothers whose spouses are serving in the military.
“We know that you also make that tremendous sacrifice for your countries, so much so they would never be as successful without you, I have to tell you. And most of them know that,” he said, joking, “Most of them, I’m not sure all of them know that, but most of them know that.”
“When you married an American warrior, you became part of an elite group of heroes. As military spouses you help carry your families through frequent moves and long deployments. You uplift your communities, care for your fellow military families, and sustain our service members through their most difficult battles,” he said.
He also touched on a difficulty of being a military spouse — the inability to maintain a career due to bureaucratic hurdles that often prevent licenses in one state from carrying over to another.
“You know that one of the great challenges of military spouses is to find a meaningful job as you move in support of your active duty spouse. That’s why one year ago I took action to increase employment opportunities…for military spouses all across our nation,” he said to applause. “We want military spouses to be able to pursue their careers and help their families thrive.”
Finally, he addressed military mothers who raised children in the military.
“You have given our country a gift beyond measure. You raised your children to live by the sacred values of loyalty, patriotism, and service. The greatest honor of my life is serving as your commander in chief. This extraordinary group of men and women, and there’s nobody like you on the face of this earth,” he said.
He also touted his efforts to rebuild the military with unprecedented defense budgets during his administration.
“Our military is now regaining strength like it never has before,” he said. “We had a very depleted military…hopefully we don’t have to use. They’re going to look at it, and say, ‘We don’t want to mess with them.'”
He said in conclusion, “Our nation is eternally grateful to our military mothers. Your love and devotion and sacrifice keeps America safe, strong, proud, and free, today and everyday, we thank God for our military moms.”
He pledged: “You have always been there for us, and my administration will always be there for you, and you know that.”
First Lady Melania, who introduced the president, also addressed military mothers and the importance of caring for military children.
“Every day should be a celebration of mothers,” she said. “This administration supports our armed forces 100 percent, and that includes taking care of the military [so] their loved ones can serve our country.”
“It is an honor to have each of you join us today,” she added. “The president and I are grateful to you.”
Trump also recognized Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, who have two sons in the Marine Corps and were at the event.