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Education 'great equalizer'

Patrick AFB, Fla. - -- As we enter the month of August here on the Space Coast it means that summer is winding down for all of us, especially our children, as they will be heading back to school next week. While the thought of that big yellow bus returning to their doors may be haunting some of them, we must remember the importance a great education can have for people of all ages and of all backgrounds.

A strong education acts as the "great equalizer" in American; it is what drives social mobility and even social change. In America an individual is able to transform their destiny through an education and ultimately able to not only better themselves but also our great nation by becoming a more informed citizen.

Furthermore, an education lets us develop our minds and in time our dreams. Education is a necessary ticket to punch in order to ride the wave of success later on in all aspects of life. Be sure to stress this importance to your children, your spouse, your friends and anyone who will listen; increased knowledge and intellect can only help them.

As you can see educating our military family members, not to mention ourselves, is a key issue for me as it is for our Chief of Staff.

"The very fabric of our society depends on the work that we do in the area of child education," Gen. Norton Schwartz said recently. "Considering that children between the ages of 6 and 18 comprise more than 145,000 of our air force family members, I see family support in general, and child education in particular, as important issues we must address urgently."

Due to deployments and frequent PCS requirements, many believe our children are at a disadvantage when compared to students who have a more stable educational environment. These concerns may force you to be more involved in your child's education and may force you to put in a little extra effort at home - I'm happy about that.

I want you to be involved in the education of your family members; get involved with what they are learning, ask questions, and you may be surprised about what you find. You may even learn something yourself. Let them know their education is important to you and that you will do everything possible to support them to ensure they have a bright future.