ADC on Wednesday designated eight communities as “Great American Defense Communities,” a recognition of the unique contributions cities, counties and regions that host military installations make to improve quality of life for service members, veterans and their families.
The association launched the Great American Defense Communities initiative in conjunction with the House and Senate Defense Communities Caucuses last year to showcase the efforts communities take to support installations and their personnel. The 2017 class, along with the neighboring installations, includes:
- Alamo – San Antonio region, Texas (Joint Base San Antonio);
- Charleston region, S.C. (Joint Base Charleston);
- Christian County, Ky. (Fort Campbell);
- Fort Hood – Central Texas region (Fort Hood);
- Hampton Roads, Va. (multiple installations);
- Maricopa County, Ariz. (Luke Air Force Base);
- Sierra Vista, Ariz. (Fort Huachuca); and
- Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (Naval Submarine Base New London, U.S. Coast Guard Academy and other Coast Guard and National Guard facilities).
“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 ADC President Mike Cooper.
This year’s honorees join 10 communities recognized last year under the initiative.
Over the next six months, each community will host a local event recognizing its selection and celebrating the efforts of the individuals and organizations responsible for helping their communities gain the Great American Defense Communities designation. These events will culminate in a special reception and a congressional breakfast during the Defense Communities National Summit in Washington in June.
This 2017 class was selected by a panel of defense community advocates and experts from dozens of nominees based on the broad range of efforts each area carries out on behalf of military personnel and their families, covering factors such as education, job opportunities, housing, family support during deployments and community appreciation. This year’s program is made possible through the support of USAA and the National Math + Science Initiative.