The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden

  • Military Families, Victims of Tornados, Receive Donated Computers From Operation Homelink

    Cross-posted from the OurMilitary.mil blog. This originally appeared in Paraglide, the Ft. Bragg base newspaper.

    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.

     
    Operation Homelink

    Spc. Patrick Briody, a medic with 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, describes how he freed his neighbors from underneath the wreckage of their house after it was thrown by a tornado against his rented Fayetteville home April 16, 2011. (Photo by Operation Homelink)


  • Serving Those Who Serve Us

    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:

    http://www.JoiningForces.gov

    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.

    Sincerely,

    Jill

    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


  • Behind-the-Scenes: First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden visit Sesame Street for Joining Forces

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden visited Sesame Street

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden visit Sesame Street as part of the "Joining Forces" Initiative and Sesame's military families project, to tape Public Service Announcements asking all Americans to support our military families. © 2011 Sesame Workshop. Photo by Richard Termine.

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden stopped by Sesame Street to film public service announcements for Joining Forces, their national initiative to support and honor our troops and their families. With Sesame favorites Elmo and Rosita, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden ask all Americans to get involved in anyway they can. Watch the PSAs below, some behind-the-scenes footage, and learn how you can get involved at JoiningForces.gov.

    Watch the PSA, here


  • First Lady Michelle Obama Talks with Faith and Community Leaders About Joining Forces

    We are fresh off an inspiring call yesterday with First Lady Michelle Obama and over 1,800 faith and community leaders from across the country who gathered to discuss Joining Forces, an initiative started by the First Lady and Dr. Biden to support our nation's military families. The call focused on how congregations and community groups can participate, and several faith leaders shared their ongoing work to support military families and veterans.  

    The purpose of Joining Forces, the First Lady noted, is to lift up and share that good work, and to invite others to join, expand or initiate efforts to support military families.  Leading up to Memorial Day weekend, the First Lady and Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership Office, mentioned several specific ways that faith and community groups can get involved in Joining Forces. Mrs. Obama pointed out you don't necessarily have to be an expert in military family issues to make a difference, highlighting some of the ways community leaders can get involved:  You can build on what you already do best, whether it’s family counseling programs that you already have.  Maybe you have a youth ministry or a career mentoring program that’s already in existence.  And you can work and ensure that you’re helping families in your congregations and in your communities.  Here are some of the ideas that were discussed:

    • Ensure that existing ministries and services are accessible to military families and veterans.
    • Start a new ministry or service for military families or veterans, or partner with an existing program in your community.
    • Coordinate a once-a-year fair, an event or some kind of service activity that’s focused on military families.
    • Help raise awareness about the issues and challenges that military families and veterans face, as well as their service and strengths that some of their neighbors may not fully be aware of. 

    Speakers on the call shared eloquently about the practical ways that congregations and community groups can partner with existing efforts, replicate successful programs, or ensure that their own programs reach military families and veterans in their community. Candy Hill with Catholic Charities USA, discussed the work of her local parish to help military families who had an injured family member. Chaplain Colonel William Sean Lee with the Maryland National Guard talked about the Partners in Care initiative which coordinates support for Maryland National Guard members during times of crisis or need. We look forward to sharing more stories about the work faith and community leaders are doing around the country to support military families.

    Alexia Kelley is the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

    Email whpartnerships@who.eop.gov to stay connected with the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.


  • Joining Forces with Faith and Community Leaders

    Serving others is a common theme among many faith traditions and is intricately woven into the fabric of our great nation.  The brave men and women of our nation’s military and their families serve us daily and make great sacrifices to do so.  They deserve to be cared for at home, after they have fought to protect our freedoms.

    In keeping with our commitment to care for our service men and women, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden have started the Joining Forces Initiative.  Joining Forces is a comprehensive national initiative to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned.  So many faith-based and community organizations are already supporting military families and veterans in countless sways.  Through Joining Forces, we want to support your ongoing good work and invite more faith and community groups to get involved in military family and veterans issues. 


  • Joining Forces with Faith and Community Leaders

    Serving others is a common theme among many faith traditions and is intricately woven into the fabric of our great nation.  The brave men and women of our nation’s military and their families serve us daily and make great sacrifices to do so.  They deserve to be cared for at home, after they have fought to protect our freedoms.

    In keeping with our commitment to care for our service men and women, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden have started the Joining Forces Initiative.  Joining Forces is a comprehensive national initiative to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned.  So many faith-based and community organizations are already supporting military families and veterans in countless sways.  Through Joining Forces, we want to support your ongoing good work and invite more faith and community groups to get involved in military family and veterans issues. 


  • Inspiring Americans to Recognize and Reach out to our Military Families

    Cross-posted from JoiningForces.gov.

    Ed. Note: May is Military Appreciation Month. Find ways to show your support for our service members and their families at JoiningForces.gov.

    At an event last week, I was wearing my dress uniform and dozens of people made the effort to thank me for my service to our country. After close to two decades in the United States Army I am used to being recognized, but on the eve of Mother’s Day I couldn’t help but think of those who rarely if ever get thanked for their service and the sacrifices they have made on our Nation’s behalf.

    I thought of my Mom, a young Army wife during the Vietnam War who saw her husband off just two months after my sister’s birth.  My mom never wore a uniform but that didn’t mean she didn’t have to raise a child alone for a year, nor did it mean that she wouldn’t be responsible for packing and picking up a household twelve times over twenty years. She did all of that, in addition to being a tireless volunteer on behalf of other military families. It was probably because she made Army life seem so rewarding, despite the instability, that my sister and I both joined the service. 

    First Lady Michelle Obama addresses military spouses, relatives and friends in the East Room of the White House for a Mother's Day Tea Party

    First Lady Michelle Obama addresses military spouses, relatives and friends in the East Room of the White House for a Mother's Day Tea Party May 6, 2011. Dr. Jill Biden stands at right. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


  • Inspiring Americans to Recognize and Reach out to our Military Families

    Ed. Note: May is Military Appreciation Month. Find ways to show your support for our service members and their families at JoiningForces.gov.

    At an event last week, I was wearing my dress uniform and dozens of people made the effort to thank me for my service to our country. After close to two decades in the United States Army I am used to being recognized, but on the eve of Mother’s Day I couldn’t help but think of those who rarely if ever get thanked for their service and the sacrifices they have made on our Nation’s behalf.

    I thought of my Mom, a young Army wife during the Vietnam War who saw her husband off just two months after my sister’s birth.  My mom never wore a uniform but that didn’t mean she didn’t have to raise a child alone for a year, nor did it mean that she wouldn’t be responsible for packing and picking up a household twelve times over twenty years. She did all of that, in addition to being a tireless volunteer on behalf of other military families. It was probably because she made Army life seem so rewarding, despite the instability, that my sister and I both joined the service. 

    First Lady Michelle Obama addresses military spouses, relatives and friends in the East Room of the White House for a Mother's Day Tea Party

    First Lady Michelle Obama addresses military spouses, relatives and friends in the East Room of the White House for a Mother's Day Tea Party May 6, 2011. Dr. Jill Biden stands at right. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)


  • "We and the Entire Nation Are So Proud Of All Of You": Mother's Day with the First Lady and Dr. Biden

    Read the Transcript  |  Download Video: mp4 (215MB) | mp3 (21MB)

    For a group of military spouses, this Mother's Day will be one they never forget. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden hosted a special Mother's Day tea to show their appreciation and thanks.


  • Military Spouse Appreciation Day

    Ed. Note: Watch the First Lady and Dr. Biden deliver remarks at a Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Mother's Day event at the White House at 3:15 p.m. EDT on WhiteHouse.gov/live on May 3, 2011.

    As President Obama stated in a proclamation, "On Military Spouse Appreciation Day, let us join together to show our service members we are taking care of their families back home as they serve our Nation across the globe."

    Last month, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces, a national campaign to support our service members and their families. This morning, Dr. Biden sent this message to encourage all Americans to express their gratitude on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Mothers Day, and everyday.

    Check out the email below, and be sure to sign up for the Joining Forces email list to stay up to date on the initiative.

    Good Morning,

    This afternoon the First Lady and I will have the honor of welcoming a special group of women to the White House to celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Mother’s Day.

    As a proud military mom and grandmother -- this day is especially meaningful to me, and always feel honored to be in the presence of our service members and their families.

    In our travels, the First Lady and I have been privileged to meet so many heroes - from the moms who keep their families together while their loved ones are serving overseas -- to the grandparents who step in with much-needed support -- to the siblings and children who are strong and brave while mom or dad is away.