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Montgomery recognized for improving lives of service members, veterans


Montgomery is getting recognition for improving the lives of service members, veterans and military families. The capital city is now named a Great American Defense Community for 2023.

The distinction was given by the Association of Defense Communities. More than 40 military communities competed for the title. Matthew Borron is the executive director for the association. He said Montgomery’s commitment to community and education made the city deserving of the label.

“Montgomery’s application really stood out. Specifically, in their partnerships with Maxwell, with the university system, and how they can improve their K-12 education," he explained. "I think that really kind of shows how invested they are in improving the quality of their schools on the local level.”

Borron was referencing the Maxwell-River Region Partnership for Educational Excellence. The initiative focuses on improving the quality of education to families.

Borron also said the Alabama Mentorship-Hub located in Montgomery made the city stand out for the recognition.

“The HUB is the first in the nation… a state-wide virtual network of military spouses, mentors and advocates," he said. "It brings kind of 24/7 peer-to-peer mentorship. And it’s not just for the active folks. It’s for the Guard and Reserve military spouses as well.

Mentors who volunteer in the HUB are trained military spouses who share indispensable, first-hand information related to life in Alabama, its military installations and its defense communities which nurtures an important sense of community and belonging.

Montgomery is one of five other cities to be given the distinction.

The four other cities named are:
—Greater Omaha, Nebraska
—Fort George G. Meade Region, Maryland
—Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska
—El Paso, Texas

Baillee Majors is the Morning Edition host and a reporter at Alabama Public Radio.
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