The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden

  • Everyone Can Find a Way to Honor our Service Members

    This op-ed by Dr. Jill Biden was first published in The Hill

    Over the past few years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to spend time with our veterans, troops and military families. With every visit, I come away inspired. 

    They are military spouses, who balance work, family and school — all while dealing with the emotions of a deployment. They are military children, who move from school to school while picking up extra chores while their dad or mom is away serving our country. They are survivors of our fallen, who are pillars of strength for their communities. And of course, they are our troops, veterans and wounded warriors, who have dedicated their lives to defending America.

    This Memorial Day, we must remember that these heroes are found in every corner of our country, from big cities to rural areas, from base communities to small towns. But no matter where they are assigned or what their duties are, when our service members are called to serve, so too are their families. 

    That’s why one year ago, first lady Michelle Obama and I launched Joining Forces, an initiative to bring Americans together to recognize, honor and serve our nation’s veterans and military families. Joining Forces focuses on three key areas — employment, education and wellness — while raising awareness about the service, sacrifice and needs of our troops, veterans and their families. 

    When we first started thinking about this concept, we were pretty confident that Americans would answer the call. But the response we’ve seen in our first year has been simply overwhelming. 


  • Delivering Jobs for Military Spouses

    Our nation’s military spouses proudly face incredible challenges – from multiple relocations to running households with their military service member often thousands of miles away during deployments. With military spouse unemployment above the national average, our military spouses are seeking portable, career-oriented job opportunities.

    I just left an extraordinary event at the Pentagon that will help connect spouses to those opportunities. Today, Military mom and Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden joined Department of Defense leaders to announce that 34 companies are stepping forward to join the DoD's Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), which helps connect military spouses with jobs. The Partnership’s member companies have pledged to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers.

    Already, the MSEP has delivered results – to date, more than 22,000 military spouses have been hired and more than 446,140 jobs have been posted on the MSEP jobs web portal.

    • Are you a military spouse looking for employment? Visit the portal here
    • Are you a company interested in joining MSEP?  Learn more here

    Military Spouse Employment Partnership

    Learn more about Joining Forces initiative: Visit JoiningForces.gov, like Joining Forces on Facebook and follow @JoiningForces on Twitter.

    Staff Sgt. John Carlin

    Staff Sgt. John Carlin walks off the flightline with his family May 13, 2001, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Sergeant Carlin is assigned to the 61st Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Chris Willis) May 13, 2001.


  • Rolling Out the Welcome Mat for our Military Families at National Parks and Public Lands

    As we celebrate Armed Forces Week, this is a particularly important time to pay tribute to the men and women who serve our country and safeguard our freedom.  

    Today, just one percent of Americans are fighting our wars, but we need 100% of Americans to be supporting our troops and their families –not just during Armed Forces Week, but all year long. That’s why we launched the Joining Forces Initiative last year to encourage all Americans to find ways to honor, recognize and support our veterans and military families.  

    Today, we are pleased to announce that we have a new way to thank those who serve their country in the military. 

    Starting on Armed Forces Day, this Saturday, May 19, we will be offering all active duty military a free annual pass that will grant access to service members and their dependents, to more than 2,000 sites across the country, including National Parks. 

    The annual pass will be accepted at all public land sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees, including those managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Army Corps. 

    VP Joe Biden with his granddaughters at the Grand Canyon

    Vice President Joe Biden, with son Hunter Biden, and granddaughters Naomi, Finnegan, and Maisy Biden, on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, July 27, 2010. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    From Yosemite to Acadia to the Grand Canyon, we are putting out a welcome mat for our military families at America’s most beautiful and storied sites.  


  • #ThankAMilitaryMom: Your Words of Appreciation

    The First Lady and Dr. Biden are encouraging all Americans to share their gratitude in support of military families celebrating Mother's Day today. See how Americans across the country are recognizing the contributions of military moms below or on Storify. Learn how you can show your support for military moms by visiting our Joining Forces site dedicated to thanking them, contribute to the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ThankAMilitaryMom, and check out the Joining Forces Mother's Day card here.


  • Joining Forces to Say "Happy Mother's Day!"

    It's a tradition in the White House to celebrate Mother's Day with a tea hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and this year, the guests of honor were some of the most inspiring women in the country: moms who proudly serve as members of our armed forces, their children and their own mothers.

    For Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, the event was an opportunity to highlight the important work these women do and the sacrifices they and their families have made in service of our country -- and to say thank you. And as you can see in the video below, their kids had a message of their own to share with mom:


  • Watch Live: Dr. Jill Biden at Southwestern Community College

    Tonight, at 7:30 PM CT, Dr. Jill Biden will give the commencement address at Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa. You can watch live using the video player below.


    Live Video streaming by Ustream


  • Joining Forces Honors Military Moms

    Ed. Note: This live event has concluded. Watch the video below or on YouTube.

    In honor of the upcoming Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 11 and in support of military families celebrating Mother’s Day this Sunday, May 13, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden host a Joining Forces Mother’s Day event at the White House for three generations of military families – military mothers, as well as their mothers and their children. Tune in live as Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden deliver remarks from the East Room of the White House to honor military moms at 1:45pm today.

    Learn how you can show your support for military moms by visiting our Joining Forces site dedicated to thanking military moms and contribute to the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ThankAMilitaryMom.

    Watch First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden honor military moms, here

     


  • Joining Forces Honors Military Moms

    Ed. Note: This live event has concluded. Watch the video below or on YouTube.

    In honor of the upcoming Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 11 and in support of military families celebrating Mother’s Day this Sunday, May 13, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden host a Joining Forces Mother’s Day event at the White House for three generations of military families – military mothers, as well as their mothers and their children. Tune in live as Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden deliver remarks from the East Room of the White House to honor military moms at 1:45pm today.

    Learn how you can show your support for military moms by visiting our Joining Forces site dedicated to thanking military moms and contribute to the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ThankAMilitaryMom.

     


  • The Changing Face of our Military

    Sergeant Sheena Adams is a member of an elite corps of female Marines, soldiers who have volunteered to join otherwise all-male patrols in Afghanistan, where they build relationships with Afghan women, a population mostly off-limits to our male troops. Sergeant Adams and her colleagues belong to the Female Engagement Team, also called FETs, and they work with women in these villages to gain their trust, and bring them better access to health care and education. 

    During her deployment as a FET, Sergeant Adams met a widowed Afghan woman -- a mother of nine who could barely feed her children. Due to cultural restrictions, this mother could not work outside the home.  Sergeant Adams found a way for this Afghan woman to earn an income. The answer was pretty simple. Using the mother’s baking talents and a son’s capacity to sell at a local bazaar, Sergeant Adams helped the family create their own bread business. 

    Dr. Jill Biden has met Sergeant Adams and some of her colleagues over the past few months, on a visit to Camp Pendleton and in Washington, D.C. where these heroes were invited to a reception at the Naval Observatory to celebrate Women's History Month. When Dr. Biden heard about the work they are doing, she was inspired:

    I thought this story captured something beautiful – underneath all the inevitable tensions that come with war, these female Marines and Afghan women are building relationships based on their similarities rather than their differences.  That’s a message we can apply to so many situations. 

    See for yourself in this video:


  • Supporting Our Nation’s Military Children

    As April comes to a close, we wrap up the Month of the Military Child. Earlier this month, the First Lady and I celebrated the one-year anniversary of Joining Forces. Over the past year, it has been so inspiring to see the commitments made by Americans across the country to support our military families—especially our military children. 

    Throughout my travels, so many military families have shared with me how important it is that schools create a supportive environment for military children. Last week, I had the honor of hosting the 2012 Teachers of the Year finalists at my home in Washington, D.C.  This was my fourth year hosting this event and it is always one of my favorites. This year was even more special as I listened to stories about how these teachers – who are the best of the best – are supporting our military children in their schools and their communities.

    Dr Jill Biden Hosts Teachers of the Year 2012 at the Naval Observatory

    (by Ron Sachs)