Our Top Stories
Weekly Wrap Up: Salute the Troops
August 31, 2012
04:00 PM EDT
Here's a quick glimpse at what happened this week on WhiteHouse.gov:
Remembering Neil Armstrong: Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, passed away last weekend. In a statement issued on Saturday, President Obama said that “Neil was among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time.”
Check out the photo gallery remembering Neil Armstrong and watch the video of Neil Armstrong’s visit to the White House in 2009. To learn more about Neil Armstrong, visit NASA.gov.
Hurricane Isaac: Throughout the week, the Administration has been monitoring Hurricane Isaac very carefully. On Tuesday morning, President Obama discussed preparations for then-Tropical Storm Isaac, after receiving updates from the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and the National Hurricane Center. As the storm continues moving north, federal emergency personnel are still monitoring its progress and mobilizing to provide relief for those in its path. For additional information, visit FEMA.gov.
- Read the safety tips we shared from Ready.gov to help people know what to do before, during, and after a hurricane
- Check out the list of steps federal officials have taken to respond to Isaac, compiled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
Historic Fuel Efficiency Standards: On Tuesday, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency announced they are finalizing national standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions for passenger cars and light trucks built in the years 2017 through 2025. The Administration’s combined fuel economy efforts represent the first meaningful update to fuel efficiency standards in decades. By 2025, the average car will achieve a fuel economy performance equivalent to 54.5 miles per gallon, nearly double that of cars on the road today. Read Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood’s blog post about the new fuel economy standards.
Transportation Infrastructure Partnerships: Earlier this week, Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari joined members of the DOT for a White House Business Council forum on American Economic Competitiveness focused on transportation infrastructure. Forum participants, including businessmen and women from across the country, Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff, and Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Greg Nadeau, discussed the Administration's initiatives on economic development, freight and passenger movement, and infrastructure financing. Deputy Secretary Porcari expressed that the private sector will play an increasingly important role in America’s transportation future. Read Deputy Secretary Porcari’s blog post about the White House Business Council forum.
Share Your Story with SBA: Also this week, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Karen Mills invited small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to share their stories with the SBA. The SBA’s new Small Business Owners Speak project wants to know why you started a business, how your business improves your community, how business ownership has enriched your life, and often SBA was an important resource to make it happen. Learn more about Small Business Owners Speak and how you can share your story at www.sba.gov/stories.
Second Anniversary: On August 31, 2010, President Obama traveled to Fort Bliss to mark the end of the combat mission in Iraq. Today, two years later, President Obama returns to Fort Bliss. Read the President's remarks to the troops.
The President also signed an Executive Order today that will help the federal government better meet the current and future demand for mental health and substance abuse treatment services for our troops and veterans, as well as their families.
- Building on the ongoing efforts to expand these services, today's Executive Order:
- Strengthens suicide prevention efforts across the force and in the veteran community
- Enhances access to mental health care by building partnerships between VA and community provider
- Increases the number of VA mental health providers serving our veterans
- Promotes mental health research and development of more effective treatment methodologies
- Launches a government-wide collaborative effort to address these issues through a Military and Veterans Mental Health Interagency Task Force
Learn more about today's Executive Order and other steps the Obama Administration has taken to protect and strengthen the health of our military, veterans and their families here at home. Also take a moment to show your support for those that serve and their families. Here’s how you can participate:
- Use the hashtag #SaluteTroops on Twitter to share your message of thanks
- On Facebook, you can update your status with a message of support or add your message of thanks to the White House facebook page
- Share a message of thanks with a military family through Joining Forces and the USO
For more information:
Visit Joining Forces, the First Lady and Dr. Biden's initiative that connects service members and their families with the resources they need to find jobs at home.
Explore this interactive timeline about the Iraq War.