Dr. Jill Biden Honors Winners of the Joining Forces Community Challenge

Yesterday, Dr. Biden joined General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Deanie Dempsey, to congratulate the finalists and winners of the Joining Forces Community Challenge. Dr. Biden and Mrs. Dempsey sat down with the winners to hear their stories. The winning organizations provide scholarships for military families, greet and support troops and families at an airport in Minnesota, collect hockey equipment for military children, provide retreats for military families reuniting after deployment, provide free mental health services for members of the military, and extend support from an entire community to a local National Guard unit. 

Dr Jill Biden at a Joining Forces event at the Pentagon

Dr. Jill Biden, Mrs. Deanie Dempsey and USO President Sloan Gibson congratulate the finalists and winners of the Joining Forces Community Challenge at the Pentagon.

The JFCC winners told Dr. Biden and Mrs. Dempsey how important it has been for their organizations to establish a personal connection to the military families they support.  Shane, a founder of Defending the Blue line, shared how he and others in the organization have been personally impacted by the children they have helped.  The organization recently donated hockey equipment to a 7-year-old boy whose father was killed during his deployment.  They learned that the boy loved playing hockey, and that it was so important for him to get to the rink and bond with other kids.  His coaches formed a web of support for the boy while he was grieving, and they have become like father figures to him. The equipment Defending the Blue Line provided for him is helping him through his grief.  Shane told the group how that experience meant so much to him and other volunteers. 

All twenty of the JFCC finalists are winners. They are making the difference in the lives of military families every single day. They are shining examples of what Joining Forces is all about, and Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden hope their stories inspire all Americans, and demonstrate that anyone can find a creative ways to support these brave families, who have given so much to all of us.

Check out this slideshow highlighting the first year of Joining Forces:

  • Joining Forces Launch

    The First Lady speaks during the launch of Joining Forces in the East Room, April 12, 2010.

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  • Joining Forces Sesame Street

    The First Lady and Dr. Biden participate in a taping on the set of "Sesame Street" in Astoria, N.Y., April 18, 2011

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  • Joining Forces Panel At The Writer's Guild Of America

    The First Lady participates in a panel discussion at the Writer's Guild of America in Los Angeles, Calif.

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  • First Lady Michelle Obama Huddles With Military Family Children

    The First Lady huddles with military family children at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., July 5, 2011.

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  • First Lady Michelle Obama Visits The Naval Air Station Oceana Summer Camp

    The First Lady visits the Naval Air Station Oceana Summer Camp in Virginia Beach, Va., July 21, 2011.

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  • Joining Forces Extreme Makeover

    The First Lady reacts as the Jubilee House is revealed in Fayetteville, N.C., July 21, 2011.

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  • Joining Forces Military Family Cookout

    The First Lady talks with a girl during a Military Family Cookout at the New Hampshire National Guard headquarters in Concord, N.H., July 2

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  • First Lady Michelle Obama And Dr. Jill Biden Paint A Wall

    The First Lady and Dr. Biden paint a wall in the home of Sgt. Johnny Agbi, Jr., left, in Washington, D.C., Oct. 17, 2011.

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  • Lunch With Active Duty And Retired Military Personnel

    The President and First Lady have lunch with active duty and retired military personnel at a restaurant in Hampton, Va., Oct. 19, 2011.

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  • Joining Forces World Series

    The First Lady and Dr. Biden attend Game 1 of the World Series with Marine Lance Cpl. James Sperry and his daughter in St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 19, 2011.

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  • Joining Forces U.S. Chamber Of Commerce

    The First Lady delivers remarks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Business Steps Up: Hiring Our Heroes” event in Washington, D.C., Nov. 10, 2011.

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  • joining Forces NASCAR

    The First Lady and Dr. Biden watch a NASCAR race with military families at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., Nov. 20, 2011.

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  • President Barack Obama Signs The Veterans Opportunity To Work To Hire Heroes Act of 2011

    The President signs the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 in the South Court Auditorium, Nov. 21, 2011.

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  • White House Christmas Tree

    The First Lady walks with children past the official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room, Nov. 30, 2011.

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  • First Lady Introduces President Barack Obama

    The First Lady introduces President Barack Obama at Pope Army Airfield in Fort Bragg, N.C., Dec. 14, 2011.

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  • President Obama And First Lady Greet Troops

    The President and First Lady greet troops at Pope Army Airfield, Fort Bragg, N.C., Dec. 14, 2011.

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  • First Lady Shakes Hands With Medical Personnel

    The First Lady shakes hands with veterans and medical personnel at Virginia Commonwealth University AAMC-Medical Center in Richmond, Jan. 11, 2012.

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  • First Lady Michelle Obama Joines The iCarly Cast

    The First Lady attends an iCarly screening at Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Va., Jan. 13, 2012.

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  • Dr. Jill Biden Greets Wounded Warriors

    Dr. Biden greets wounded warriors and their families at the Wounded Warrior Hope and Care Center at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 20, 2012.

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  • First Lady Michelle Obama At Little Rock Air Force Base

    The First Lady visits the dining facility at Little Rock Air Force Base in Little Rock, Ark., Feb. 9, 2012.

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  • Defending The Blue Line Youths

    The First Lady walks with participants in the Defending the Blue Line program in Minneapolis, Minn., March 16, 2012.

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  • Department Of Defense Dinner In The East Room

    The First Lady is photographed with a guest during the Department of Defense dinner in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 29, 2012.

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  • Best Practices To Support Military Spouses

    The First Lady and Dr. Biden stand for the national anthem at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., Feb. 15, 2012.

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  • Joining Forces Marine Corps Flag

    A message written by First Lady is seen on a U.S. Marine Corps flag at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., April 4, 2012.

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