United We Stand

9/13/2008 Fresno, CA, USA The celebration included the grand opening of a center designed to help families handle difficult deployments and other challenges they face.

"I love him and that he's the best dad ever..." This simple note captures both the pride and sadness Jennifer Van Tassel feels when her soldier father is deployed. "I get upset and sad because it's fun when he's here."

Organizers of this event at the Fresno armory say it's important to recognize those feelings and show appreciation for military families from all branches of the service.

Sue Miguel, Family Assistance Coordinator, says "It gives them an opportunity to show the community they are proud to be military members and families."

The 4th annual "United We Stand" program included a wall of honor display, informational booths, and the grand opening of a new family center.

Mary Kight, Ca National Guard, says "All of us participate in this center and it's for all of our families and all of our services."

The center offers six computers with internet and web cams so families can stay in touch during deployments. It also has a meeting space and a free food pantry, small comforts for the large sacrifices military families make.

Today's event was hosted by the Family Assistance Network, which was started by the California National Guard to help all military families.


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