Did You Know? Alabama Provides a Unique Experience for Alabama’s Military-Connected Families

Did You Know? Alabama Provides a Unique Experience for Alabama’s Military-Connected Families

Publication Date
Monday, April 22, 2024

By Jennifer Holliday

Alabama Military Family Liaison


Did you know that Alabama offers a unique connection experience for military families called the Heroes Welcome Initiative? 

What is the first thing service members and their families need when moving to a new duty station? Connection. 

With PCS orders in hand, we immediately ask four of the “five W’s”—who do we know in this area, what is nearby, where is the closest airport, etc., and when will we arrive? We need immediate connections to that new location. The Alabama Heroes Welcome Initiative helps military families establish connections before they even arrive in the state.

Alabama has long been known to wrap its arms around our military, Veterans, and military families. Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth, Chairman of the Alabama Military Stability Commission, made it his mission to tackle quality-of-life challenges for military-connected families. Together, the Commission, the State Legislature, the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA), and the Alabama Military Stability Foundation (ALMSF) are tackling these issues as quickly as possible.

Several years ago, they realized the need for a few key components that help establish connections for military families:

  • Legislative action
  • a resource-focused website
  • boots-on-the-ground connectivity between the families and their local communities

In 2019, Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth made a concerted effort to strengthen Alabama’s bond with its military-connected communities by creating the Alabama Heroes Welcome Initiative (HWI). This ALMSF program consolidates the key components and distills them into positive experiences through timely connections for military families.

Unanimous Legislative Action

Alabama has robust laws to support Veterans and military families, offering significant financial assistance for education and tax reduction. Over the last few years, numerous additional laws

have been unanimously passed by the State House and Senate on quality-of-life issues, such as establishing the Alabama Purple Star Schools Program, expanding financial benefits, opening Advanced Enrollment for K-12 students moving to Alabama on military orders, and joining national licensure compacts to advance military spouse employment.

Heroes Welcome

In July 2020, the Alabama Heroes Welcome website was designed by two military spouses and launched by the ALMSF as a first-in-the-nation statewide resource experience for military spouses, service members, and Veterans moving from anywhere in the world. It is also an excellent site for those living here looking for resources. Military spouses and subject matter experts vet all resources on this site. It is also the only location where contact information for all 48 Alabama licensing boards and the licensure compacts that Alabama has joined can be found.


Alabama Military Family Liaison

Following the Heroes Welcome website's launch, the ALMSF appointed the first Alabama Military Family Liaison to provide boots-on-the-ground communication and coordination with local defense communities, DoD Installations, military families, and Veterans. Additional duties of the Liaison include connecting the military community with the resources they need, recommending new legislation, and helping to launch new statewide and local programs to benefit military families and Veterans across Alabama.

Contact the Alabama Military Family Liaison, Jennifer Holliday, at jen@heroeswelcome.alabama.gov.