The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden
- Posted byon March 12, 2013 at 6:09 PM EDT
On Monday, Dr. Jill Biden joined a meeting of the National PTA's Executive Board to talk about the ways parents, educators and school communities can offer important support to children whose parents are serving in the military, and especially those whose moms or dads are deployed overseas.
Dr. Biden, who is both an educator and a military mom, thanked the leaders for the work they have already accomplished on this issue in schools, and highlighted how much more remains to be done, and how important it is:
Three years ago, I visited troops with my husband at Camp Victory in Iraq over the Fourth of July. While I was there, a general told me that during a concert at his six-year-old daughter’s school, one of her classmates burst into tears when the song “Ave Maria” played.
She told the teacher it was the song they played at her daddy’s funeral. He died in Iraq.
Her teacher was unaware she was a military child. That story is heartbreaking for all of us – especially parents and teachers who can imagine the impact an incident like that would have on a child.
And that story demonstrates just how vital it is that we raise awareness around the unique needs of our military children.
- Posted byon March 1, 2013 at 1:00 AM EDT
This week, the President urged Congress to take a responsible approach to deficit reduction instead of the indiscriminate across-the-board spending cuts called the sequester. He also met with the Prime Minister of Japan, America's Governors, and the country's only all-black Ranger unit, and unveiled a truly moving monument to Rosa Parks.
- Posted byon February 25, 2013 at 3:38 PM EDT
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden addressed the National Governors Association today, and renewed their call on governors to do their part putting America’s heroes back to work, and to serve our military veterans and spouses as well as they’ve served us. The First Lady’s remarks are a call to action – building on President Obama’s June 2012 announcement of the Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force – setting a goal that by the end of 2015, all 50 states will have taken legislative or executive action to help our troops get the credentials they need to successfully transition to the civilian labor market.
The remarks by Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden coincide with a new report by the Executive Office of the President that details the barriers veterans and their families face as they seek employment, the Administration’s commitment to help them leverage their skills to good, meaningful jobs and the progress that has already been made.
First Lady Michelle Obama Challenges Governors of all 50 States to Ease Service Members' Transition to Civilian Work ForcePosted byon February 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM EDT
Too often the talented men and women who have served our country face barriers that make it difficult to find jobs that capitalize on the skills they have gained through their military education and experience. Many service members and veterans are required to repeat education or training in order to receive industry certifications and state occupational licenses, even though much, and in some cases, all, of their military training and experience overlaps with credential requirements.
The members of our Armed Forces and their families make great sacrifices, and when their service is concluded, we owe it to our veterans and their families to help them accomplish a successful transition to the civilian labor force. That is why over the past year and a half, President Obama has taken significant action to create a “career-ready military” and streamline the transition process.
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden highlighted the work that has been done across the country to change laws that require military spouses to attain new credentials when they move to a new state, and challenged the governors of all 50 states to take legislative or executive action to help our troops get the credentials they need by the end of 2015. Speaking to the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room, Mrs. Obama talked about the pressing need to take action and fulfill our responsibilities to the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much over the past decade:
In the coming years, more than one million service members will make the transition to civilian life.
Think about that – a million people hanging up their uniforms… figuring out what’s next… and doing everything they can to make that change as seamless as possible for their families.
So the fact is, while this time of war may be ending, our responsibilities to our troops and their families will only be ramping up.
And that’s what I want to talk to you about today—how we can fulfill what is perhaps our most pressing responsibility to our troops: making sure that when they come home, they can find a job—and not just any job, but a good job, a job they can raise a family on.
- Posted byon February 14, 2013 at 6:17 PM EDT
This week, the President delivered the first State of the Union address of his second term, and then brought his proposals to a factory in North Carolina and a school in Georgia, presided over a Medal of Honor ceremony, honored the outgoing Secretary of Defense, and hungout on Google Plus.
- Posted byon February 5, 2013 at 5:55 PM EDT
Dr. Jill Biden welcomes British military veterans and their families at a reception for Wounded Warriors at Winfield House in London, England and thanks them for their service, sacrifice, and dedication. (by JP Evans/US Embassy)
Dr. Jill Biden today met with Wounded Warriors at a reception for British military veterans and their families at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in London, England, and she thanked them for their service, sacrifice and dedication. America's Second Lady highlighted the unbreakable bonds between the US and British troops, who have served alongside one another for the past ten years, in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Vice President and Dr. Biden have been travelling this week in Europe, where the Vice President has met with leaders in Germany, France and the United Kingdom. At today's reception, Dr. Biden talked about the people she has visited with over the past few days, including Wounded Warriors and medical staff at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, and soldiers and their families at a US Army base in Germany:
With each visit, I am reminded that our service members and their families have done so much for us … and we can all do something in return.
That spirit is what fuels the Joining Forces initiative the First Lady and I started to support and honor our troops and military families.
And I am very pleased to not only visit with some of the heroes that make the British military so strong, but also all the organizations here that support them.
I know that over the past 10 years, you have all worked so hard to improve the lives of the men and women who have sacrificed so much. It is your dedication and support that has made all the difference for so many veterans and their families.
- Posted byon February 3, 2013 at 4:54 PM EDT
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden visit with medical staff during a visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, in Landstuhl, Germany, Feb., 3, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)Today, Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visited with Wounded Warriors and their medical caretakers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (RMC) in Landstuhl, Germany.Landstuhl RMC is the largest U.S. military hospital outside the United States. It serves American servicemembers and their families who are stationed in Europe. Landstuhl RMC is also the nearest medical trauma center treating wounded U.S. servicemembers coming from Afghanistan. The center treats wounded coalition military members serving alongside U.S. forces in Afghanistan as well.The Vice President, Dr. Biden, and Deputy Secretary Carter thanked the combat-injured U.S. soldier for his service to our country and thanked his wife and their young son for their sacrifices. They also spent time visiting with two wounded soldiers serving in Afghanistan who were from the Republic of Georgia. Of the fifty-nation coalition providing forces in Afghanistan, the Republic of Georgia is the largest non-NATO contributor, providing over 1,560 forces who primarily serve in Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand province.The Vice President, Dr. Biden, and Deputy Secretary Carter also took time to specially thank on-duty medical caretakers in the surgical wards and the intensive care unit for caring for our Wounded Warriors. Vice President Biden said, “Even if there were no Wounded Warriors here to visit today, we wanted to stop by and visit with you to say thank you for all that you do for them. What you do is truly breathtaking. And because of you, our Wounded Warriors can return home alive to their mothers and fathers, to their wives and husbands, and to their sons and daughters.”
- Posted byon January 29, 2013 at 12:01 PM EDT
The White House Fellows recently had the great pleasure and honor of participating in the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Winterhaven Homeless Stand Down in Washington, DC. The Stand Down is an annual event in which over 60 federal, state, and community agencies provide a range of services to needy and homeless veterans. These include cholesterol checks, eye exams, employment counseling, clothing distribution, benefits claims assistance, PTSD and trauma screening, personal care items and meals. The Stand Down is part of the VA's goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015.
White House Fellows served in the kitchen and dining area, which for most veterans was the last stop of the day. Some Fellows greeted veterans upon their entry into the dining area and reviewed with each veteran his or her schedule, to ensure that each veteran had the opportunity to access all of the available resources. We served meals, including salads, vegetables, barbecue, desserts and beverages. Fellows also helped disabled veterans to their seats and carried veterans' meals and bags of supplies and clothing. Finally, we helped clean tables, so that no veteran would have to wait to be seated. With the other volunteers, we served over 500 veterans during the day.
- 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.