FORT DRUM — Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division leaders signed the Month of the Military Child Proclamation at the Commons on Tuesday, recognizing youths as integral members of the armed forces community and applauding their strength and resilience.
The Department of Defense established the annual commemoration in 1986 to thank the children of service members and veterans for their service and sacrifices and to draw attention to programs and support available to military families.
According to a statement from the post, the signing of the proclamation opened the quarterly Fort Drum Educational Liaison Committee meeting, with garrison officials, school district superintendents and educators in attendance.
Maj. Gen. Gregory K. Anderson, 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum commander, said he will be deployed overseas when MOMC officially kicks off in April, but he wanted to personally acknowledge and thank those who support military families.
“As a commander, knowing that our kids, our family and our community is in good hands is a source of inspiration and encouragement for us when we leave here,” he said in a statement. “It takes a lot off our plate because of your amazing job. I’m thankful for all the educators, coaches, administrators, and professionals who run our programs and teach and mentor our children.”
Maj. Gen. Anderson said this is his family’s third assignment at Fort Drum, and his sons were educated in north country schools.
“It’s world-class here,” he said. “And it’s a strength for 10th Mountain Division families to come out here and be blessed by amazing people who care. New York is serious about education. They invest in our children, and it shows.”
Col. James J. Zacchino Jr., garrison commander, welcomed the educational committee members back to Fort Drum. While they continued to meet online during the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the first in-person gathering since October 2019.
Col. Zacchino said nearly 5,000 Fort Drum-connected students attend public, private or parochial schools in the area. He also noted he is a product of north country education, as is his son.
“The great education that our children receive in the North Country is directly attributed to this group’s dedicated efforts and passion for quality education and unmatched support to the Fort Drum community,” he said in a statement. “No one knows it better than the people in this room, that the education and support North Country schools provide creates indelible growth and development.”
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