Story by A1C Tristan Biese on 02/27/2017The Association of Defense Communities designated Hampton Roads, Virginia, as one of the eight "Great American Defense Communities", for providing untiring support to service members and military families.
The ADC recognized Hampton Roads for its support of military-connected children through innovative school programs and community-based support organizations.
"Hampton Roads being named a Great American Defense Community for 2017 is a tremendous honor," said Rick Dwyer, Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance deputy executive director. "There is no area of the country that has a longer or more distinguished history of supporting military installations, personnel, their families and veterans than Hampton Roads. So this award recognizes the incredible efforts of the communities throughout our region to make the area a wonderful place for service members, their families and veterans to work and live."
The seven other communities honored, as part of the "Class of 2017", are: The Alamo San Antonino Region, Texas, The Charleston Region, South Carolina, Christian County, Kentucky, Fort Hood Central Texas Region, Maricopa County, Arizona, Sierra Vista, Arizona and the Governments of Southeastern Connecticut.
"All eight in the 2017 class of honorees truly embody the ideals this initiative was designed to celebrate, making host communities for our nation's military installations Great Places to Call Home,'" said Mike Cooper, ADC president.
The 2017 class of communities was selected by a panel from the ADC and experts from dozens of nominated communities, all considering factors such as education, job opportunities, housing, community appreciation and family support during deployments.
The Great American Defense Communities program was designed to highlight the contributions cities, counties and regions that host installations make to improve the quality of life for service members, veterans and their families.
Over the next six months, each community will host a local event recognizing its selection to celebrate the hard work of the individuals and organizations that make their communities a great place for service members and their families to live.
These events will culminate in a special reception and a congressional breakfast during the Defense Communities National Summit in Washington, D.C., from June 19 through June 21, 2017.