Category Archives: Families

First Lady Michelle Obama Launches New Lodging For Families Of Ailing Vets

Posted by: Audiegrl

AP~First Lady Michelle Obama has helped open three new residences for families of ailing U.S. soldiers and veterans in Maryland.

Mrs. Obama cut the red ribbon Thursday for the Fisher Houses at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. She was flanked by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Ken Fisher of the Fisher House Foundation.

Obama says the homes provide a comfortable place for families who have made a sacrifice for their country.

The residences will provide free lodging for the families of as many as 60 sick and injured service members.

The Rockville-based foundation has built dozens of Fisher Houses at military facilities since 1991.

The new residences are part of the planned move of Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Washington to Bethesda next year.

Remarks by the First Lady at Fisher House Tour and Ribbon Cutting

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First Lady Michelle Obama Shares Her Message of Thanks to the Troops and their Families

Posted by: Audiegrl

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First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Camp Pendleton

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Kori Shulman

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks to Marines and their families at Camp Pendleton in California. June 13, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

It’s become one of my defining missions as First Lady, and that’s to help the rest of our country better understand and appreciate the incredible service of you and your families, and to make sure that your voices are heard back in Washington and that your needs are met, and to make sure that we realize our vision of an America that truly supports and engages our military families. That’s why I’m here,” said Mrs. Obama to a crowd of 3,500 Marines, sailors and their family members at Camp Pendleton, California.

Given all that the service members and their families do to take care of America, The First Lady emphasized every American’s a responsibility to do their part. That’s why she issued a national challenge to every sector of society to take action to support and engage our military families — not just now, but for years to come:

We have to build the capacity to support you and your families at every stage of your lives. But to do this, we need a truly national commitment — no one can sit on the sidelines. One percent of Americans may be fighting our wars, but 100 percent of Americans need to be supporting you in that fight.

The First Lady also paid tribute to all fallen heroes, including Camp Pendleton Marines who gave their lives just this past week: Sergeant Brandon Bury. Lance Corporal Derek Hernandez. Corporal Donald Marler. Sergeant John Rankel. Lance Corporal Michael Plank.

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden Discuss Military Families

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Trooper Sanders

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden meet with Leadership 18 members in the State Dining Room of the White House, May 25, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden met at the White House today with Leadership 18, a coalition of national non-profit chief executive officers, to discuss military family matters.  They were joined by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, his wife Deborah Mullen, Dr. Cliff Stanley, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and other White House officials.  The First Lady and Dr. Biden have issued a national call to action to address the unique challenges facing military families, build stronger civilian-military community ties, and engages and highlights the service and sacrifice of military families.  The meeting today provided an opportunity to discuss ways to build a lasting national commitment to support and engage military families.

Leadership 18 is a coalition of the some of the country’s largest and most well respected human development non-profit CEOs. Altogether, the 22 member organization serves more than 87 million people annually and has more than 5.5 million staff and volunteers.  The coalition represents long established charities, faith-based organizations, and nonprofits focusing on social and health issues supporting and promoting the safety, health, well-being, social and economic development of individuals and families.

Leadership 18 attendees included: Peter Goldberg, Alliance for Children and Families; Gail Mc Govern, American Red Cross; Roxanne Spillett, Boys and Girls Club of America; Father Larry Snyder, Catholic Charities USA; Kathy Cloninger, Girl Scouts of the USA; Judy Vredenburgh, Girls Incorporated; Jim Gibbons, Goodwill Industries International; Jill Schumann, Lutheran Services in America; Dr. David Shern, Mental Health America; Stephen Bennett, United Cerebral Palsy; Brian Gallagher, United Way Worldwide; Charles Gould, Volunteers of America; Neil Nicoll, YMCA of the USA; and Lorraine Cole, YWCA USA.

Earlier this month during a speech at a summit hosted by the National Military Family Association, the First Lady challenged every sector of American society to mobilize and take action to support and engage military families today and for decades to come. During the May 12 speech the First Lady said, “One percent of Americans may be fighting our wars, but we need 100 percent of Americans to support them and their families.  This has to be all hands on deck.”   The hope is that events like this one build a coalition to make this a reality.

Trooper Sanders is Deputy Director of Policy to the First Lady

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First Lady Michelle Obama Announces Presidential Directive on Military Families

Posted by: Audiegrl

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks to the National Military Family Association Military Child Summit at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. May 12, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

First Lady Michelle Obama today announced that President Obama has directed the National Security Staff to lead a new 90-day review to develop a coordinated Federal government-wide approach to supporting and engaging military families.  Building on work and expertise by the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs, the review will involve nearly twenty federal agencies as well as the White House Domestic Policy and National Economic Councils and the Offices of the Vice President, the First Lady, and Dr. Biden.

Specifically, the review will:

  • Set strategic military family priorities for the next ten years and identify key military family concerns and challenges;
  • Review a cross section of public and private programs to identify the most promising ideas and programs that positively support military families;
  • Develop options for departments to integrate military family matters into their strategic and budgetary priorities;
  • Examine opportunities for Federal policies and programs to stimulate new and support existing state and local efforts achieving military family readiness goals and meeting military family priorities;
  • Identify opportunities to leverage the skills and experience of military family members in national and community life; and
  • Strengthen existing feedback mechanisms for military families to voice their concerns and views on the effectiveness and future direction of relevant Federal programs and policies.

The review builds on the Obama administration’s efforts to forge an enduring national commitment to support and engage military families.  These combined national efforts will help ensure that:

  • The United States military continues to recruit and retain the highest-caliber volunteers contributing to the Nation’s security;
  • Service members can have strong family lives while maintaining the highest state of readiness and focus on their military responsibilities;
  • Civilian family members can fulfill their own potential while supporting service members; and
  • The general population better understands military families and seeks more opportunities to support military families.

“With just one percent of our population—our troops—doing 100 percent of the fighting our military families are being tested like never before,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.  “This government wide review will bring together the resources of the federal government, identify new opportunities across the public and private sectors, and lay the foundation for a coordinated approach to supporting and engaging military families for years to come.”

The First Lady made the announcement during an address to the National Military Family Association’s summit – When Parents Deploy:  Understanding the Experiences of Military Children and Spouses.  Mrs. Obama addressed the state of America’s military families today, outlined a vision of the nation supporting them over the long-term, and how, as a country, all segments of society can work together to turn that vision into a reality.  The First Lady, along with Dr. Jill Biden, uses their platform to support military families by:

  • Championing a national call to action that both addresses the unique challenges facing military families and recognizes and taps their skills, strength and commitment to service;
  • Building stronger civilian-military community ties; and
  • Engaging and highlighting the service and sacrifice of military families to ensure their voices are heard inside the administration.

First Lady Michelle Obama talks with National Military Family Association Board Chair Mary Scott after speaking at the National Military Family Association Military Child Summit at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., May 12, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Remarks by the First Lady at National Military Family Association Summit

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