The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden

  • At the World Series with Joining Forces

    Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden traveled to St. Louis for Game One of the 2011 World Series to honor the troops, veterans and their families as part of their Joining Forces initiative geared towards connecting local communities in support of military families.

    Check out the video from their trip here:

    Before the first pitch, the First Lady also took your questions from Twitter and Facebook on how you can say thanks and provide a helping hand for the families of service members. There are lots of ways to get involved, from sending a message of gratitude to exploring volunteer opportunities near you. Find out how you can support a military family in your community at JoiningForces.gov.

    The First Lady makes her first official tweet at Game 1 of the World Series

    First Lady Michelle Obama makes her first official tweet at Game 1 of the World Series to recognize Major League Baseball’s (MLB) outstanding support of America's veterans and military families as part of their Joining Forces at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 19, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


  • At the World Series with Joining Forces

    Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden traveled to St. Louis for Game One of the 2011 World Series to honor the troops, veterans and their families as part of their Joining Forces initiative geared towards connecting local communities in support of military families.

    Check out the video from their trip here:

    Before the first pitch, the First Lady also took your questions from Twitter and Facebook on how you can say thanks and provide a helping hand for the families of service members. There are lots of ways to get involved, from sending a message of gratitude to exploring volunteer opportunities near you. Find out how you can support a military family in your community at JoiningForces.gov.

    The First Lady makes her first official tweet at Game 1 of the World Series

    First Lady Michelle Obama makes her first official tweet at Game 1 of the World Series to recognize Major League Baseball’s (MLB) outstanding support of America's veterans and military families as part of their Joining Forces at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 19, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


  • Weekly Wrap Up: Bringing Home the Troops

    Watch West Wing Week here.

    What happened this week on WhiteHouse.gov:

    Home for the Holidays Friday afternoon the President announced that the remaining  troops in Iraq will be officially coming back home, thus ending the war in Iraq. “Over the next two months, our troops in Iraq—tens of thousands of them—will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home. The last American soldiers will cross the border out of Iraq—with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops. That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end.”

    Road Trip President Obama embarked on a three day bus tour to spread the word about the American Jobs Act. Starting the journey in Asheville, NC and ending in North Chesterfield, VA, he also made stops in Millers Creek, NC, Jamestown, NC, Emporia, VA and Hampton, VA.The President visited schools, an airport, a military base, and a fire station along the way all of which will benefit from the American Jobs Act. On the last day of the tour, the First Lady joined the President at Joint Base Langley-Eustis announcing a commitment from the private sector to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses. The jobs bill would put Americans back to work, upgrade our country’s infrastructure, and keep teachers and emergency responders on the job. 

    Citizens Award Tuesday in the East Room, the President honored 13 Americans with the Citizens Medal, one of the highest honors a civilian can receive. The award is given to Americans who have "performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens." The recipients chosen to receive this year’s medal were nominated by the public, and then carefully selected by the White House. Click here to learn more about the recipients and to watch a video showing their reactions to the news that they'd been chosen.

    “We Will Overcome” Tens of thousands came to the National Mall Sunday for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dedication. President Obama, joined by the First Family, toured the memorial and then spoke at the dedication ceremony in honor of Dr. King's work. During his speech, President Obama reminded us that the progress towards Dr. King's vision has not come easily and there is still more to do to expand opportunity and make our nation more just:“We can’t be discouraged by what is.  We’ve got to keep pushing for what ought to be, the America we ought to leave to our children, mindful that the hardships we face are nothing compared to those Dr. King and his fellow marchers faced 50 years ago, and that if we maintain our faith, in ourselves and in the possibilities of this nation, there is no challenge we cannot surmount.”

    MLB support U.S. Veterans As a part of their Joining Forces Initiative, the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, for Game One of the World Series to meet with military families and to recognize Major League Baseball’s support of those who serve and their families. Earlier that day, the First Lady announced at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia a commitment from the private sector to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses.

    Cutting Waste As a part of the Campaign to Cut Waste, the White House recently updated the Excess Property map that uses new data to pinpoint the location and status of federal properties that agencies have targeted for closure and consolidation. Ending this waste and improving the management of the government’s real estate will save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.


  • Joining Forces at the World Series to Support Our Military Families

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden watch Game one of the 2011 World Series

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden watch Game one of the 2011 World Series between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals with Marine Lance Cpl. James Sperry and his daughter Hannah, 5, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 19, 2011.(Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    This afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden headed to St. Louis, Missouri for Game One of the World Series to meet with military families and recognize Major League Baseball’s (MLB) support of those who serve and their families.

    During the game, a new Joining Forces and MLB Public Service Announcement will premiere featuring New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Johnny Damon, encouraging Americans to support Joining Forces and MLB’s Welcome Back Veterans program to stand with veterans, the troops and their families. Watch a sneak peek here

    Download Video: mp4 (31.7MB)


  • Joining Forces with Major League Baseball at Game One

    Tomorrow, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden are heading to St. Louis, Missouri for Game One of the World Series. But they aren’t going just to watch a ballgame... 

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden take to the field at Yankee Stadium

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden take to the field at Yankee Stadium for game one of the World Series in Bronx, N.Y., Oct. 28, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

    Major League Baseball will dedicate its biggest stage to our service men and women and their families. In concert with Major League Baseball, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will be encouraging Americans to recognize and serve veterans, service members and their families as part of their Joining Forces initiative and MLB’s Welcome Back Veterans program. They'll also join representatives from MLB and the St. Louis Cardinals, including Hall of Famer and Army veteran Red Schoendienst, at the St. Louis VA Medical Center for a military family appreciation event.

    Before the game, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will answer your questions on the Joining Forces initiative and about things you can do in your community to support veterans, active service member and their families.  You can submit a question for the First Lady and Dr. Biden now on facebook or on Twitter using the hashtag #AskMichelle.

    Also, stay tuned during the game for the debut of a new Joining Forces and MLB Public Service Announcement featuring the First Lady along with New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Johnny Damon, both who come from military families.  The PSA will be shown in the ballpark, on MLB.com and the MLB Network.  If you miss it, visit JoiningForces.gov after the game to watch.


  • Joining Forces with Major League Baseball at Game One

    Tomorrow, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden are heading to St. Louis, Missouri for Game One of the World Series. But they aren’t going just to watch a ballgame... 

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden take to the field at Yankee Stadium

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden take to the field at Yankee Stadium for game one of the World Series in Bronx, N.Y., Oct. 28, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

    Major League Baseball will dedicate its biggest stage to our service men and women and their families. In concert with Major League Baseball, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will be encouraging Americans to recognize and serve veterans, service members and their families as part of their Joining Forces initiative and MLB’s Welcome Back Veterans program. They'll also join representatives from MLB and the St. Louis Cardinals, including Hall of Famer and Army veteran Red Schoendienst, at the St. Louis VA Medical Center for a military family appreciation event.

    Before the game, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden will answer your questions on the Joining Forces initiative and about things you can do in your community to support veterans, active service member and their families.  You can submit a question for the First Lady and Dr. Biden now on facebook or on Twitter using the hashtag #AskMichelle.

    Also, stay tuned during the game for the debut of a new Joining Forces and MLB Public Service Announcement featuring the First Lady along with New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Johnny Damon, both who come from military families.  The PSA will be shown in the ballpark, on MLB.com and the MLB Network.  If you miss it, visit JoiningForces.gov after the game to watch.


  • Joining Forces to Rebuild 1,000 Homes for Veterans

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at a Joining Forces Service Project

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden paint a wall in the home of Sgt. Johnny Agbi, Jr., left, at the Joining Forces Initiative Heroes at Home event in Washington, D.C., Oct. 17, 2011. The retrofit on Sgt. Agbi's home to make it wheelchair accessible was the 1,000th home rebuilt by the Rebuilding Together and Sears Heroes at Home programs. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden joined forces with Sears Holding's Heroes at Home program and the Rebuilding Together nonprofit organization today to put the final touches on the 1,000th home that they have rebuilt for veterans since 2007.

    The home belongs to Army Sergent Johnny Agbi who served in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. While serving as an Army medic in Afghanistan, his helicopter transport was shot down and he suffered injuries that have required him to use a wheelchair and join a comprehensive rehabilitation program. Along with fifty volunteers, the First Lady, Dr. Biden, Sears and Rebuilding Together completed a retrofit of Army Sergent Johnny Agbi’s home to make it wheelchair accessible.

    The Joining Forces initiative is all about honoring and supporting America’s service members and their families, and the work of the Heroes at Home program and Rebuilding Together is an amazing example of how companies, organizations and individuals can help. They work to improve the lives of American military families by making necessary repairs, improvements or modifications to the homes of veterans and wounded warriors.

    Following the build, Dr. Jill Biden thanked Sergeant Johnny Agbi for welcoming the team to his home:

    Sergeant Agbi, I know I speak for everyone here today when I say, you are a true hero.  You and all of your fellow veterans and service members from across the country show us every day what words like "strength" and "courage" mean.  And, of course, we're also grateful to your family members for their service to our country. 

    Projects like today's build represent some of the incredible ways that communities are coming together to support our veterans and military families all across the United States.  And these projects, and all the partners and volunteers who make them possible, embody the spirit of the Joining Forces Initiative that the First Lady and I launched earlier this year. 


  • President Obama at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Dedication: "We Will Overcome"

    President Obama and the First Family tour the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial

    President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia, and Marian Robinson tour the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial before the dedication ceremony in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Today, nearly half a century after Martin Luther King, Jr. led the historic March on Washington for equality, tens of thousands came to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Dedication. The memorial to Dr. King has been open since August, but the dedication was delayed due to Hurricane Irene. As President Obama said, though delayed, "this is a day that would not be denied."

    President Obama, joined by the First Family, toured the memorial and then spoke at the dedication ceremony in honor of Dr. King's work to make his dream a reality for all. During his speech, President Obama reminded us that the progress towards Dr. King's vision has not come easily and there is still more to do to expand opportunity and make our nation more just:

    Our work is not done.  And so on this day, in which we celebrate a man and a movement that did so much for this country, let us draw strength from those earlier struggles.  First and foremost, let us remember that change has never been quick.  Change has never been simple, or without controversy.  Change depends on persistence.  Change requires determination.  It took a full decade before the moral guidance of Brown v. Board of Education was translated into the enforcement measures of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, but those 10 long years did not lead Dr. King to give up.  He kept on pushing, he kept on speaking, he kept on marching until change finally came. 

    And then when, even after the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act passed, African Americans still found themselves trapped in pockets of poverty across the country, Dr. King didn’t say those laws were a failure; he didn’t say this is too hard; he didn’t say, let’s settle for what we got and go home.  Instead he said, let’s take those victories and broaden our mission to achieve not just civil and political equality but also economic justice; let’s fight for a living wage and better schools and jobs for all who are willing to work.  In other words, when met with hardship, when confronting disappointment, Dr. King refused to accept what he called the “isness” of today.  He kept pushing towards the “oughtness” of tomorrow.

    And so, as we think about all the work that we must do –- rebuilding an economy that can compete on a global stage, and fixing our schools so that every child -- not just some, but every child -- gets a world-class education, and making sure that our health care system is affordable and accessible to all, and that our economic system is one in which everybody gets a fair shake and everybody does their fair share, let us not be trapped by what is.  We can’t be discouraged by what is.  We’ve got to keep pushing for what ought to be, the America we ought to leave to our children, mindful that the hardships we face are nothing compared to those Dr. King and his fellow marchers faced 50 years ago, and that if we maintain our faith, in ourselves and in the possibilities of this nation, there is no challenge we cannot surmount.


  • Spielberg, Hanks and Winfrey Join Forces to Support Our Troops

    Watch a Joining Forces PSA featuring Tom Hanks, here.

    Three of the biggest stars in America are lending their voices to Joining Forces, the initiative started by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr.Jill Biden to bring attention to the unique needs and strength of America’s military families. Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg have each created public service announcements (PSAs) that tell real stories about America's military families and call on all Americans to give back to ensure service members and military families have the support they have earned.

    "The entertainment community answered the Joining Forces call and has done what they do best -- bring to life stories that move us," said Mrs. Obama. "Through this PSA campaign, Americans will learn more about the unique challenges and needs of our military families, see their strength, resilience and service, and find out how they can give back to these extraordinary troops and families who have given us so much."

    The project was conceived by Academy Award-winning producer Bruce Cohen, who leads the Inter-Guild Joining Forces Task Force, an entertainment industry coalition that provides creative and production support for Joining Forces. Each of the PSAs tells the story of a military family  as they endure the hardship of a deployment overseas. The PSAs will be airing on A + E, CBS, NBC,  ABC, FOX, and WB networks.

    Dr Biden, whose son served in Iraq, said, "As a military mom, I know just how much it means when people reach out to show their support for our service members and their families. The first lady and I hope that this campaign will inspire more Americans to take action and reach out to military families in their own communities around the country."

    Watch a Joining Forces PSA featuring Oprah Winfrey, here

    Watch a Joining Forces PSA featuring Steven Spielberg, here


  • Dr. Biden: October Is the Time for Each of Us to Consider the Role We Can Play in Combatting Breast Cancer

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and it’s an important time to consider the role that each of us can and must play in combating this disease. Far too many of us have lost a loved one to breast cancer – or seen a neighbor or a colleague endure painful treatments or a long battle with the disease.

    We know that early detection can make all the difference. And I am proud to be a part of an Administration that is working hard to ensure that affordable and accessible preventive care is a reality. Thanks to the health reform law, the Affordable Care Act, most private health plans and Medicare cover women’s preventive health care – such as mammograms and screenings for cervical cancer –with no co-pays or other out-of-pocket costs. This year to date, 3.8 million women in traditional Medicare have received a free mammogram.  

    Last week, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Jennifer Aniston, and I toured a state-of-the-art breast health center in Northern Virginia. We met with committed health professionals as well as with women who shared personal stories about their battles with breast cancer. 

    There is no question that we have a lot of work ahead of us – but I will say that we were all inspired and hopeful after the visit. Please take a minute to see some highlights of our visit, and hear first-hand from some of these inspiring women. 

    Forward this video to your loved ones, together we will win this fight!

     

    -Jill