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Okaloosa recognized for outstanding support to service members, family

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Okaloosa County has been named one of 10 “Great American Defense Communities.”

The Association of Defense Communities and the Defense Communities Caucus announced this week the first class of “Great American Defense Communities,” an initiative launched this year to acknowledge the unique contributions cities, counties and regions that host installations make to improve quality of life for service members, veterans and their families.

Okaloosa County is the only community in Florida to make the inaugural class of honorees.

The 10 communities were selected by a panel of defense community advocates and experts from dozens of nominees based on the broad range of efforts they carry out on behalf of military personnel and their families, covering areas such as education, job opportunities, housing, family support during deployments and community appreciation.

“All 10 of our inaugural class of honorees truly embodied the ideals this initiative was designed to celebrate — making host communities for our nation’s military installations ‘Great Places to Call Home,’” said ADC CEO Tim Ford.

“The Great American Defense Communities program will help ADC and the Defense Communities Caucus share positive stories about the exemplary efforts being made in communities to support defense installations and their personnel,” Ford said.

The inaugural class of honorees includes:

  • Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Ft. Leonard Wood Region, Mo.
  • Goldsboro, N.C.
  • Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Lawton, Okla.
  • Manhattan, Kan.
  • Monterey, Calif.
  • Okaloosa County, Fla.
  • South Puget Sound, Wash.

This year’s class will be recognized throughout 2016 at a variety of events in Washington, D.C., including an exhibit and reception on Capitol Hill.


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