“I don’t worry around Michael. I don’t recognize why,” second lady Karen Pence speak me.

she son, Michael Pence Jr., is a pilot in the maritime Corps.

it helps, she says, the she has belief in his flying capacity — and also God.

there is one caveat, though: “He hasn’t been deployed. So that’s going to be harder.”

Vice president Mike Pence and also Mrs. Pence have actually been military parents for three years, however they had actually long expected their kid would opt for a job in the military. Before joining the Marines, Michael Pence, now a captain, studied trip at Purdue university in Indiana while his father was governor.

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A love of flying operation in the family. Mrs. Pence’s father was an Air pressure pilot and the second lady has actually her pilot’s license, though it’s not current.

“I don’t have actually the money … or time,” she laughs. “It’s an extremely expensive!”

Mrs. Pence learned to fly in college but only took her youngsters up once, she says, deciding that was as well dangerous that a hobby as soon as she had actually a family.

having actually a familiarity with aviation once your kid is an aviator “helps a lot,” she says.

“When take away the VP increase in a plane, his dad is favor ‘OK, OK, i’m ready, yes sir let’s walk down.’” Mrs. Pence speak me, playfully. “And I’m like ‘this is great! I’m having actually a ball!’”


Alex Wong/Getty photos
The Pence household on phase on the third day that the 2016 Republican nationwide Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Indigenous left: daughter-in-law Sarah, kid Michael, mom Nancy, the evil president, wife Karen and also daughter Charlotte.
Mrs. Pence claims Michael has also been candid with her around some of the scarier moments he’s had actually flying, including one close call while he was in college. Before beginning a lower to land the did a visual inspect beneath his Cessna. Over there was another aircraft directly listed below him.

“He’s very, very cautious. He’s had times whereby this small light to be blinking and also so he simply didn’t take it off. Maybe it was nothing, however maybe it was something,” Mrs. Pence says. “And maybe being married help him in being more cautious.”

Michael met his wife, Sarah, in a political science course at Purdue and also the pair married in late December 2016.

“She … holds the accountable,” Mrs. Pence says, smiling.

“I learned about being a spouse from my daughter-in-law. She insists that has actually his responsibilities in the house and also she has actually hers. And I have tendency to say, ‘Oh, girlfriend know, the vice president is yes, really busy, I’ll perform this because that him,’ and — yes, really — it’s better if you don’t.”

The difficulties of gift a armed forces spouse

as Mrs. Pence considered a cause she can champion as second lady, she additionally found catalyst from Sarah, that she claims has taken on the function of armed forces spouse and helped open her eye to the difficulties faced by the men and women married to organization members.

“I think world don’t know the sacrifice the spouse makes. They really don’t. Usually it hits house when ns say, ‘what if you had to relocate in two years? and then you had actually to relocate in two much more years … packing everything up, finding an additional house, finding a school?’”


v so many moves, detect a new job is among the most challenging aspects of being married come the military.

on average, military spouses room significantly more educated than their civilian counterparts, yet much much more likely to be unemployed or underemployed.

The unemployment price for military spouses in 2017 was a staggering 24%, according to the most recent statistics native the Defense Department’s Office of human being Analytics.

A us Chamber of commerce survey conducted the exact same year uncovered that half of the nearly 32% of armed forces spouses working component time stated they wanted to work full time.

Those statistics tracked with the involves that armed forces spouses living approximately the world raised with the second lady and her staff. She saw with army wives and also husbands in ~ several armed forces installations about the country, and Yokota waiting Base and the USS Ronald Reagan in Japan.

“We’d sit in a room with around 20 spouses and I would certainly tell them, pick one thing that possibly I can help fix,” Mrs. Pence says. “The one that increased the surface the most was employment and also licensing.”


From registered nurses to cosmetologists to vets to attorneys, one-third of military spouses who have civilian work need a federal government license for their profession, according to the office of job Statistics.

states oversee most professional licensing and requirements and application fees regularly vary from state come state.

with every move, a army spouse might need a brand-new license. For an aesthetician that might mean additional education or passing brand-new cosmetology plank exams. For a lawyer, it likely means taking the bar in a new state.

this grueling and also time-consuming processes eat increase a substantial amount of time in a two- come three-year assignment. Coupled through the reticence of many employers to rental someone that will be on the relocate again in a couple years, armed forces spouses are often required to abandon the job or ar in which they space trained come work.

part states have actually reciprocity policies, however many carry out not. Some waive license fees or expedite license for army spouses but frequently, a current study in Minnesota found, licensing boards space unaware that the plans in ar to aid military spouses.

raising awareness

As among the highest possible profile military family members members in the country, Mrs. Pence is trying to raise awareness of these concerns so states and businesses deserve to tackle the problem.

“If reach a suggest where they say, ‘I make the efforts in the critical three write-ups to get a position in mine field. The my turn now. You should retire the next time friend can and I’m going to go work-related for a while.’ then there goes all our armed forces members.”

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when the Pences had actually governors and their spouses to the vice president’s residence in ~ the naval Observatory earlier this year, Mrs. Pence took advantage of the captive audience, mentioning individual state licensing worries with plenty of of the governors.

critical week, she was on Capitol Hill supporting the Portable Certification of spouses Act, unveiled by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. The computers bill, a beat on the military acronym for moving, “Permanent change of Station,” intends to make the shift of recognize a brand-new job much easier for military spouses.

This week, the second lady is meeting through dozens of businesses to comment on the actions they have the right to take to deal with the high unemployment price of army spouses.

“Our army readiness is dependence on this spouses gift happy as army spouses,” she said.