The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden

  • Operation Honor Cards

    When my kids think of community service, they think about picking up trash along the road, visiting the animal shelter and collecting food – all of which are good things, but I don’t know that they actually have learned why we do – or should do – community service or understand the importance of community service to the beneficiaries.  Now they do.

    Together, Girl Scout troop 2255 and Boy Scout troop 888 chose to do a community service learning project that was not only worthy of the time and effort, but also a great deal of fun. The kids chose to do Operation Honor Card and commit community service hours in the name of soldiers recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

    Documentary filmmaker Chris Barrett captured the Scouts on film, watch the video here.


  • Honoring Their Service with Ours

    This Independence Day, you can join First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden in supporting our troops, military families, and veterans by getting involved with Joining Forces. 

    Here’s a few things you can do right now:

    • Operation Honor Card. You can get involved right now through Operation Honor Card – an effort to encourage Americans to support our military families by participating in service projects to serve those who serve us. At HonorCards.org, you can pledge hours of community service, find service projects in your area, and track your progress. 
    • Send a Message of Thanks. A simple act of kindness can mean so much. Say thanks to a military family today.
    • Share Your Story of Support. How are you serving our nation’s military families? Tell us your story.
    • Stay ConnectedThere are plenty of ways to stay connected with Joining Forces.  You can sign up for email updates, like Joining Forces on Facebook, or follow @JoiningForces on Twitter.


  • Opening Doors for our Military Spouses

    Our nation’s military spouses possess the hard work ethic, the skills, the education and the dedication that make them ideal employees in a competitive workforce.  However, they also face challenges and demands as they juggle households, children and jobs alongside frequent moves and deployments. Recognizing this challenge, one of the priorities of the Joining Forces initiative that the First Lady and Dr. Biden are leading is to develop career and educational opportunities for military spouses. Yesterday we took a major step forward in achieving that goal with the launch of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership.
     
    Dr. Jill Biden at Military Partnership

    Dr. Jill Biden greets audience members at the Military Spouse Employment Partnership kick-off at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., June 29, 2011. The partnership promotes meaningful, long-term employment opportunities between America's employers and military spouses. DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley


  • Joining a Global Movement

    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.

    Dr. Biden at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2011 Special Olympics

    Dr. Biden joins Team USA for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. (Photo by State Department)

    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.


  • On Board the USS RAMAGE: Dr. Jill Biden Visits with Sailors in Greece

    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.

    Dr. Biden visiting the Navy in Greece

    (Photo by MC1 Kevin O’Brien)

    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. 


  • The Path to Successful Civilian Careers

    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.


  • Joining Forces with the Illinois National Guard

    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 Second Lady with National Guard Families at a Chicago Pizza Dinner

    (Photo by Spc. Chasity Johnson, Illinois National Guard, Public Affairs Office)

    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.


  • Watch Live: Welcoming Chancellor Merkel of Germany to the White House for an Official Visit

    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.

    9:15 AM EDT: The President, the Vice President, the First Lady, and Dr. Biden welcome Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Federal Republic of Germany to the White House

    11:35 PM EDT: The President and Chancellor Merkel hold a joint press conference

    7:35 PM EDT: The President and the First Lady attend the State Dinner with Chancellor Merkel; the President and Chancellor Merkel will each deliver a toast.


  • “Thank You”: Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden to Our Service Members in Naples, Italy

    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.

    Dr. Jill Biden poses for a photo at the Naval Support Activity Naples

    Dr. Jill Biden poses for a photo while greeting sailors and other branch service members at the Naval Support Activity Naples, in Naples, Italy June 4, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    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.

    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden speak to and greet sailors and other branch service members

    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden speak to and greet sailors and other branch service members at the Naval Support Activity, in Naples, Italy June 4, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)


  • Our Nation’s Warriors

    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. 

    Stephen Lunt

    Marine Sergeant Stephen Lunt after receiving a bronze medal in archery with Council member, Dr. Stephen McDonough. May 9, 2011.