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.
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.
Last summer, I traveled to Iraq with my husband, Joe, to visit our troops over the Fourth of July. I had lunch with several female soldiers -- many of whom were mothers. These women are managing all the challenges of parenting -- arranging health care, child care and education -- thousands and thousands of miles away from their homes and loved ones.
One woman across the table fought back tears as she told me that she missed out on taking her youngest child to college a few weeks earlier. I was at a loss for words -- all I could do at that moment was reach across the table, and squeeze her hand.
Michelle and I have both been so struck by these women -- fiercely proud to serve this country and never complaining, but still struggling with some the same everyday challenges we all face in managing a home and family.
The government is working hard doing its part to support our military families -- but each American also has the ability to make a difference in the life of a military family -- that’s what our Joining Forces initiative is all about.
Mother’s Day gives us an opportunity to say thanks to the mothers and mother figures who have shaped and supported us. So on this Mother’s Day -- think about taking a moment to express gratitude to those who serve -- especially to those military moms, spouses, and children who deserve our appreciation. You can find ways to help at www.joiningforces.gov.
Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours,