Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Thank you, Caleb. We’re happy to have you with us today and thank you for everything you and your family do for our nation.
Kelly, General Hokanson, Joe and I are so grateful for your leadership and everything you do to help National Guard families.
Thank you all for joining us.
You – members of the National Guard and your families – hold a special place in my heart, because our son, Beau, served in the Delaware National Guard.
Our national guardsmen and women have to be ready to support missions at a moment’s notice. And that means their kids – all of you – know what it’s like to have your mom or dad missing at the dinner table every time they’re called to duty. And you do it with humility and honor.
I want you to know that my husband, President Biden, and I are grateful and we’re so proud of you. We know it isn’t easy. When Beau was deployed, we saw how much our grandchildren, Hunter and Natalie, missed their daddy.
But they, like all of you, were brave and strong. They understood that they were sharing their dad with the nation, so that other kids could be safe.
A few months ago, we dedicated a special place in the White House to showcase the artwork of military kids to give their stories, and the countless other stories of military kids, a home in the People’s House.
One of the pieces we’ve displayed here is a drawing of a little boy holding his father’s hand and looking up at him – beaming with so much pride. His father, in his bright green uniform, smiles back down as an American flag waves behind them.
That was drawn by a boy named Patrick. He’s twelve years old, and his dad is also in the Delaware National Guard.
But some people may not know that Patrick’s dad serves in the military because National Guard members don’t always wear their uniform – serving our country and their community in other jobs until they’re called to duty.
That might be something you’ve experienced as well. Your friends at school may not know that your mom or dad is in the military.
So, one of the things I’ve tried to do as First Lady is make sure that your stories are heard – that people understand what you’re going through.
That’s why I asked all of you to join me today. I want to hear about what’s on your minds. I want to learn more about what being a military kid means to you. And I want to know what more we can all do to serve you.
So, thank you for being here, and thank you for sharing your stories with us.