The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden
- Posted byon June 30, 2011 at 2:45 PM EDT
- Posted byon June 28, 2011 at 5:39 PM EDT
I was truly honored when the President asked me to lead a delegation representing the United States at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens. I have just returned and wanted to share a few impressions from this inspiring trip.
Our entire delegation had a wonderful time meeting many athletes, cheering them on, and being a part of the Special Olympics movement. We joined approximately 7,000 athletes from more than 170 countries worldwide – I will never forget the incredible spirit that I witnessed at the Games.
Meeting the American athletes was one of the personal highlights for me. It was such an honor and a thrill to join Team USA as we walked into the stadium for the Opening Ceremonies, as our hundreds of athletes cheered “USA! USA!” and proudly carried our country’s flag.
We also had a chance to participate in a ceremony in which the city of Athens dedicated a park to Eunice Kennedy Shriver – a park that is open to ALL – for persons with and without disabilities – and that will encourage an inclusive play and healthy living environment for future generations. What a great way to honor the legacy of a woman who made such an impact around the globe.
- Posted byon June 28, 2011 at 11:48 AM EDT
Last week Dr. Biden traveled to Greece to lead the Presidential delegation to the Special Olympics World Summer Games. On her first day in Greece, she had the opportunity to join Navy Secretary Mabus for a visit with deployed sailors on board the USS RAMAGE off the coast of Athens.
While on board, Dr. Biden and Secretary Mabus visited with all 300 sailors on the flight deck. Following a reenlistment ceremony for 4 sailors on board who have committed to another tour in the Navy, they met sailors from all over the country – including those from their home states of Delaware and Mississippi. They shook hands and took photos until the very last Sailor departed the flight deck.
After leaving the flight deck, Dr. Biden and the Secretary had lunch with Sailors on the mess deck. They talked with several of them about their families back home, including a sailor who became a new dad just days before the visit. It can be a struggle to miss out on those special family moments while deployed. But the Sailors never complained.
RAMAGE sailors are unique. They have deployed multiple times in the past 5 years, and they have endured long and frequent separations from their families. But they are resilient, and they are proud of what they do. Each and every one of them has the same dedication to our country as those that we have had the honor of visiting at military bases across the country and throughout the world.
- Posted byon June 22, 2011 at 10:27 AM EDT
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden often credit military spouses and women veterans as the “force” behind Joining Forces. The personal stories they heard again and again highlighted the gap in support for women trying to successfully coordinate their military family lives with productive careers and/or transition from the service to the civilian workforce. The dearth of easily-accessible, broad-reaching mentoring models for women veterans and military wives takes a toll on individuals, families, and our economy through the combined impact of unemployment and underemployment.
Facilitating the productive re-entry into the American economy of women veterans and military spouses is not a simplistic “feel good” program. Our economy will benefit from the leadership skills and workplace expertise these women have worked so hard to acquire.
- Posted byon June 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM EDT
Last week, I visited with Illinois National Guard families and encouraged members of the cable industry to Join Forces with the First Lady and me in supporting military families and veterans across the country.
On Wednesday evening, I joined National Guard families for dinner at a Chicago pizzeria. As the mother of a Delaware Army National Guardsman, I always feel like I am with family when I’m with members of the Guard and their loved ones. All the dinner guests were family members of deployed Guardsmen, or soldiers who have deployed multiple times. After dinner, we went to a Chicago Cubs game together. I am always inspired when I visit with military families, and last week was no exception. Their pride in their service is contagious, and their courage is awe-inspiring.
The next morning, I addressed industry leaders and representatives from the cable and telecommunications industries at the 2011 Cable Show. The cable industry is uniquely positioned to support military families. Some members of the industry are telling the stories of military families through PSAs and television programming. Others are extending access to technology so military families can communicate with loved ones during deployments, or helping teachers of military children share content to boost student achievement. So many businesses and organizations are stepping up.
- Posted byon June 7, 2011 at 8:48 AM EDT
This morning, the President and First Lady will welcome Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Federal Republic of Germany to the White House for an Official Visit. Watch events live on WhiteHouse.gov all day and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #statevisit.
- Posted byon June 5, 2011 at 4:44 PM EDT
Yesterday, my husband and I were honored to visit with some of our service members and their families at the Navy’s Capodichino base in Naples, Italy. I was proud to be there as Second Lady of the United States, but I was even more proud to be there as a military mom.
We were there for a simple reason, and that was to say thank you.
On a daily basis, each of these men and women show us what words like service, strength, and sacrifice really mean. Our military families serving in the United States and around the world are truly inspiring, and they need to know that everyone at home appreciates all that they do for our nation.
The First Lady and I are working hard through our Joining Forces initiative to make sure that every American understands the sacrifices that our service members and their families are making for the security of this nation. And we’re encouraging all Americans to find ways to give back in any way they can.
- Posted byon June 3, 2011 at 12:08 PM EDT
Cross posted from the Let's Move! blog.
On May 9th, 2011, I joined fellow members of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition on the South Lawn of the White House. We had the opportunity to participate in and lead exercise stations with military families on a beautiful spring day in Washington. These military families, and the many others across the country, need as much support as possible as they sacrifice to protect our country. At the event, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that Council members had each committed to participating in at least two events this year as part of the Council’s support of Joining Forces, the national initiative launched by the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden to honor and support service members and their families.
I had the honor to attend the 2nd Annual Warrior Games in Colorado Springs on May 19, 2011. The United States Olympic Committee and the Department of Defense co-sponsored the Warrior Games which were held at the Olympic Training Center.
- Posted byon June 2, 2011 at 3:57 PM EDT
Six paratroopers whose homes were destroyed or damaged in the April 16 tornados that struck south of post recently received donated computers to help get their lives back online.
Given mostly to lowerenlisted Soldiers assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, the refurbished, high-quality, business-class notebooks came from Operation Homelink, a nonprofit outfit that traditionally provides computers to the Families of deploying Soldiers to keep in touch through e-mail, chat and web cams.
- Posted byon May 30, 2011 at 1:34 PM EDT
This morning, Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, sent the email below to the White House email list encouraging all Americans to honor our brave men and women in uniform by supporting our military families and veterans.
If you didn’t get the email, be sure to sign up for the White House email list.
This Memorial Day, First Lady Michelle Obama and I are asking our fellow citizens to honor the brave men and women who have served and sacrificed so much for our country by supporting our military families and veterans.
Will you join me in sending a note of thanks to our military families? You can submit your message on JoiningForces.gov:
Our military families are true American heroes: they are parents who raise their kids alone while their spouse is deployed overseas, they are the grandparents who provide much needed support, and they are military kids who work hard in school while bravely awaiting their mom or dad's return from deployment. They serve our country bravely and without asking for recognition for their sacrifices.
That's why the First Lady and I started Joining Forces, a national initiative to recognize, honor and support our military families.
As a military mom, I know that a simple act of kindness can make a difference in the lives of our military families and veterans. Whether you offer to babysit or carpool, or just take a moment to say thank you, everyone can do something to support our service members and their families.
We are working with employers, with communities, with faith leaders, with schools and so many others. We can all join forces.
At JoiningForces.gov you'll find lots of ways to get involved. You can find service opportunities in your area, send a message of support to military families, or tell us your own story of service:
To all of our men and women in uniform, our veterans and our military families: thank you, we are so grateful for your commitment and sacrifice.
P.S. We've created a special email list for more frequent updates about the Joining Forces campaign.
You can sign up here: WhiteHouse.gov/JoiningForcesEmail