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Panetta In DFW To Talk About Military Kids

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta addresses the annual Department of Defense/Veterans Administration Suicide Prevention Conference June 22, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

GRAPEVINE (AP) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says educating the children of soldiers isn’t just important for their future but also for that of the military and the country.

He spoke Wednesday at the Military Child Education Coalition’s national training seminar in Grapevine.

The U.S. has 1.5 million school-age children in military families. They will have moved an average of six to nine times before graduating from high school.

Panetta says they have a unique perspective but also suffer hardships.

He says the U.S. military is better able to defend the nation when the long-term educational needs of soldiers and their children are addressed.

Panetta says the military supports math and science initiatives and expanding foreign language programs for military kids.

He says education is the key to opportunity, equality and freedom.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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