The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden
- Posted byon January 24, 2013 at 10:10 PM EDT
This week, Washington D.C. was transformed into an historic stage, with an estimated one million people on hand to witness the President and Vice President take the Oath of Office at the United States Capitol. Through it all, West Wing Week was there, from the terrace of the Capitol to backstage at the balls. America, take a moment to look back at where we've been this week for this special edition of West Wing Week, January 18th to the 24th, or "Behind the Scenes: Inauguration 2013."
- Posted byon January 20, 2013 at 9:11 AM EDT
The First and Second Ladies of the United States got an early start on the 2013 Inauguration celebrations at a concert honoring our military families.
The Kids Inaugural: Our Children, Our Future was hosted by Nick Cannon and featured artists including Katy Perry, Usher, the cast of "Glee," Far East Movement and Mindless Behavior. JR Martinez, the Army hero who won "Dancing with the Stars," also joined Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden for the event, which was held at the Washington Convention Center.
Dr. Biden said the concert was a chance to show military kids how much the country appreciates the sacrifices they make while their parents are serving.
The First Lady told the crowd that while she loves "every single minute" of the inaugural celebrations, the Kids Concert was the true highlight:
I have to tell you that my very favorite part of this entire weekend is being right here with all of you. Absolutely. Because for me, this is what inauguration is all about. It’s about celebrating who we are as Americans and all the things that make this country so great. And when I think about who we are, when I think about what makes America great, I think about all of you --our men and women in uniform, our military spouses, and our amazing military kids.
- Posted byon January 19, 2013 at 6:30 PM EDT
Today, the First Family kicked off Inauguration weekend by participating in the National Day of Service, helping out with some school improvement projects at Burrville Elementary in Washington, DC.
President Obama asked Americans around the country to take part in the National Day of Service to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday falls on Inauguration Day this year. The President and First Lady asked that we all remember the importance of giving back and looking out for others – both central to Dr. King’s work – as we celebrate this weekend.
“This is really what America is about,” President Obama said. “This is what we celebrate.” He said that this Inauguration is “a symbol of how our democracy works and how we peacefully transfer power, but it should also be an affirmation that we’re all in this together and that we’ve got to look out for each other and work hard on behalf of each other.”
- Posted byon January 19, 2013 at 12:15 PM EDT
Yesterday, the First Lady and Dr. Biden sat down with four exceptional young reporters from kids’ magazines to talk about their initiative to support military families, Joining Forces. The reporters – from Highlights, National Geographic Kids, Scholastic and TIME for Kids – asked some great questions about the initiative and how kids can help!
Some of the takeaways?
- Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden talked about how they encourage all Americans to look for ways to honor and support military families, and Dr. Biden said when her son Beau was deployed their church put his name in the bulletin to pray for him, people brought meals over, and someone shoveled her daughter-in-law’s driveway during a snowstorm.
- Asked about advice for a military child who moves a lot, Dr. Biden encouraged them to get involved in sports teams and school activities. And as a teacher herself, she talked about how teachers can get involved to reach out to military kids. For example, Dr. Biden’s granddaughters’ teacher put a picture of her dad’s unit outside of her classroom so the entire class would know Beau was deployed.
- Mrs. Obama encouraged all the kids’ magazines’ readers to think “what can I do?” for a new kid in school – especially a new military kid.
- Posted byon January 4, 2013 at 3:55 PM EDT
The White House photo team has a front row view for all the events — both big and small — that take place at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., as well as on the road with the President, the Vice President and the First Family.
Each January, Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer and Director of the White House Photography Office, selects his favorite images from the past twelve months, and now, we're sharing them with you. Featuring exclusive perspectives of everything from Presidential trips and events to private moments between President Obama and his family, his staff and American citizens, this collection offers a unique view of 2012.
- Posted byon November 30, 2012 at 6:16 PM EDT
Editor's note: Military Family Month reminds us to take a moment to reflect on the contributions and sacrifices of our military families. As President Obama said in his proclamation declaring November as Military Family Month, “When a young woman signs up to defend our Nation, her parents are enlisted as well. When a father deploys to a combat zone, his children are called to serve on the home front. And when the men and women of our military serve far from home, their families feel the strain of their absence.”
- Posted byon November 29, 2012 at 12:26 PM EDT
Dr. Jill Biden speaks at the Ceremonial Groundbreaking of The Education Center at The Wall on November 28, 2012. (Photo by Bill Petros)
Along with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, members of Congress, military leaders and other Gold Star families, we gathered for the Ceremonial Groundbreaking of The Education Center at The Wall, a future national landmark that will bring to life the stories of the more than 58,261 Americans who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.
Located on the National Mall, the Education Center will uniquely bridge past, present and future by connecting veterans from all eras to one another. In addition to Vietnam veterans, the Education Center will also serve as a memorial to the lives of service members lost in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Posted byon November 21, 2012 at 1:30 PM EDT
Earlier this week at the Pentagon, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced that the Navy’s next Virginia-class attack submarine will be named the USS Delaware – and that it will be sponsored by Dr. Jill Biden, a longtime Delaware educator and proud military mom.
At the announcement, Secretary Mabus said the Navy names its ships for states and other places in America to serve as a visible representation of America in every port around the world and that there is “always a strong connection between the people of a state and the ship that bears its name.”
“It's a special honor for me to sponsor this submarine, because I'm such a proud military mom,” Dr. Biden said. “Four years ago … I stood in Dover, Delaware, watching as our son, Beau, prepared to deploy to Iraq with the Delaware Army National Guard. I remember it like it was yesterday. And this year, I'm looking forward to standing with our son, Hunter, when he is commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy. He follows in the footsteps of two of his grandfathers, who have also served in the Navy.
Secretary Mabus also recognized Dr. Biden for her work with First Lady Michelle Obama on the Joining Forces initiative, “providing support and expanding opportunities, for veterans and active-duty personnel and their families.”
Dr. Biden said that the Navy tradition of having civilian-sponsored vessels “helps to cement the critical connection between our service members and the civilians back home who love them, miss them, and owe them a debt of gratitude.”
Construction of the USS Delaware will begin next year; its service will begin in 2018.
- Posted byon November 11, 2012 at 2:53 PM EDT
Today is Veterans Day, and President Obama, Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden travelled to Arlington National Cemetery to honor our nation’s fallen warriors, veterans and military families. Before President Obama gave remarks, they laid a wreath to “remember every service member who has ever worn our nation’s uniform.”
The President discussed our sacred duty to care for our men and women in uniform and their families, even after their military service has concluded.
So long after the battles end, long after our heroes come home, we stay by their side. That’s who we are. And that’s who we’ll be for today’s returning service members and their families. Because no one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they have earned when they come home.
We know the most urgent task many of you face is finding a new way to serve. That’s why we’ve made it a priority to help you find jobs worthy of your incredible skills and talents. That’s why, thanks to the hard work of Michelle and Jill Biden, some of our most patriotic businesses have hired or trained 125,000 veterans and military spouses. It’s why we’re transforming, for the first time in decades, how the military transitions service members from the battlefield to the workplace. And because you deserve to share in the opportunities you defend, we are making sure that the Post-9/11 GI Bill stays strong so you can earn a college education and pursue your dreams.
- Posted byon October 25, 2012 at 3:30 PM EDT
Yesterday afternoon, we were honored to host three breast cancer survivors at the Vice President’s Residence for a Breast Cancer Awareness Month conference call to remind advocates around the country about the importance of early detection and prevention.
We heard from Myrna Rodriguez Previte, a breast cancer survivor who struggled to get health insurance as a self-employed real estate broker. When she was diagnosed in 2003 at age 36, she was refused coverage by insurance company after insurance company. Myrna eventually received coverage as a newlywed because she was getting married and was soon covered under her husband’s policy.
But as Myrna noted, because of the Affordable Care Act, starting in 2014, insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against anyone in her situation for having breast cancer as a pre-existing condition.
Myrna has since founded Amigas Unidas, a peer-to-peer breast cancer organization that works with Latina women to provide bilingual and financial services.