These uncertain times have brought many challenges and changes in the lives of individuals and families around the world. I believe that with every obstacle comes an opportunity to grow. Although the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, it has brought with it the unique chance to pause and truly be present, which is rare in today's society. During this time of uncertainty, one important job undoubtedly continues -- being a mother.
Mother's Day this year may look different due to unforeseen trials accompanied with the Coronavirus pandemic. For many, this might be the first Mother's Day spent apart from family. I have had the unique opportunity throughout my time serving in Congress to travel to Afghanistan for eight of the last ten Mother's Day holidays, spending time with our brave military men and women who are on the ground there. This annual visit has become deeply important to me. Spending time with our troops, especially the mothers during these trips, always serves as a significant reminder that those who wear the uniform sacrifice so much, including being away from their families in harm's way for months at a time, for the security of our nation. I am grateful to be able to have this time annually with some of our heroes in Afghanistan and thank them for the difficult work they do to keep our country secure.
In light of COVID-19, my plans to return to Afghanistan this year were regrettably cancelled. I am disappointed that I will not have the chance to connect with deployed mothers and caregivers as they are away from their families, but I am surely thankful to be safe and healthy with my family, on this special day. Although I am celebrating here in the United States, my thoughts remain with our servicemembers overseas and all those impacted by COVID-19.
I can say as a working mother that it is truly one of the biggest challenges for a mother to be away from her children. I pray this Mother's Day we recognize and remember all the moms who may not have the opportunity to be surrounded by their children. To all the mothers out there -- I hope you have a very blessed Mother's Day, no matter how you may be spending it. Thank you for your daily sacrifices and selflessness, and know you are appreciated every day.