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National Hispanic Heritage Month Highlight

MFAN Advisory Board Member, Founder and President of Esposas Militares Hispanas USA

janet sanchez

MFAN is proud to feature advisory board member Janet Sanchez and her organization, Esposas Militares Hispanas USA, during National Hispanic Heritage Month. Her experience providing support and advocating for Hispanic members of the military community will be an asset as MFAN works to connect all military families with the critical resources available to them.

MFAN advisory board member and Army spouse Janet Sanchez launched a small Facebook group in 2007 to provide translation services for Hispanic military spouses. That small Facebook group evolved into what is now a 5,000-member, nationally recognized nonprofit that provides much-needed support to the Hispanic military community.

While volunteering at local hospitals and Family Readiness Groups in Fort Knox, Ky., Janet noticed that due to language barriers, many Spanish-speaking military spouses were struggling to understand the benefits available to them and their families. Determined to help other spouses, Janet launched a Facebook group with 10 other volunteers to provide translation services to Hispanic military spouses.

As the group continued to grow, Janet realized that there was a need for a nonprofit that would deliver a broader range of services and resources to the Hispanic military community. Esposas Militares Hispanas USA was granted nonprofit status in 2013 and today offers information in Spanish about military benefits and services to Hispanic military families. The organization works to overcome the language barriers that might prevent Hispanic families from accessing the resources available to all members of the military community.

As the organization’s president, Janet leads the effort to promote inclusion among Hispanic military families and the overall military community.

“We want to be counted and we want our voices to be heard,” she said. “We are part of the military community and we want to be involved in it.”

In the coming years, Janet hopes Esposas Militares Hispanas USA will expand into more military communities to support families wherever they are stationed and promote inclusion among Hispanics within the overall military community.

“Our most important role is to make sure the Hispanic spouses are involved in the community, are knowledgeable of their benefits, and know there are people out there who want to help,” Janet said.

Eventually, Janet sees the organization providing scholarship funds for Hispanic military spouses and children to support their educational aspirations.

Esposas Militares Hispanas USA Hispanic Hispanic military families National Hispanic Heritage Month