The South Lawn

Thank you, Sharona.

It takes incredible courage to not only heal, but to also share your journey so that others can heal too. It’s that same bravery you called on when you chose to put on the uniform and protect others.

Thank you and your daughter for your service.

Every time the President’s Own play, you fill the hearts of all who hear you with pride – and today is no different. Let’s give the Marine Band another round of applause for that incredible rendition of our National Anthem. 

Warriors never ride alone.

That’s the promise of the Wounded Warrior Project – and, as you can see today: it’s true.

Because this isn’t a race. It’s a ride.

It’s not about how fast you can go or leaving people in your dust. It’s about riding as one.

And there’s a magic when you come together. In every look, laugh, encouraging word, or maybe a smile, you pull each other through the pedals, the miles, the days.

Recovery isn’t a race either. You don’t succeed by going faster. Some days you may even feel like you aren’t moving at all. There are challenges that never seem to go away. But warriors find a way forward, together. Because healing is not a straight line. It’s a journey that continues – and at some point, maybe today – you look back and realize just how far you’ve come.

And it’s not just you.

Beside the riders here, there are families.

You – military spouses and kids – may not have worn a uniform, but you serve our country too. Missions may end – wars may come to a close – but the sacrifices that your families make endure.

The Bidens are a military family.

My father was a Navy Signalman in World War II. And our son, Major Beau Biden, served for a year in Iraq as part of the Delaware Army National Guard.

So, as a military mom, and as your First Lady, I want to let you know how much all of you mean to me and to your Commander-in-Chief, President Biden.

The United States doesn’t demand military service of our citizens – you step forward: everyday heroes who sacrifice your own safety, willingly and proudly, so that others can be free.

You represent the best of this country. And you and your families deserve nothing less than our unconditional respect and support.

That’s what Joining Forces – my White House initiative to support military and veteran families, caregivers, and survivors – is all about.

And so many of you have been with us from the beginning – have become old friends. It’s great to see you again. Thank you for your ideas, your hard work, and your collaboration. It’s what has allowed us to make so much incredible progress over the last three years:

An historic Executive Order that expands veterans’ access to high-quality, home-based care, which Joe signed last year. He got the PACT Act done, which means more benefits and health care for veterans harmed by toxins. His Administration is investing a record amount in free mental health services for veterans. He’s removing barriers to employment for military spouses, and pushing the private sector to hire veterans and military spouses. And he’s working to end veteran homelessness and prevent veteran suicide.

My husband often says that we have many obligations as a nation, but only one sacred obligation: to support you and your families when we send you into harm’s way, and when you return.

As President – and as a military dad – he never loses sight of that conviction.

That’s why he’s working tirelessly to make sure you and your families have what you need to thrive.

Today, and every day, we ride with you – your President, your nation, and all of us here.

With all my heart, thank you for your service and sacrifice.

May God bless our military and veteran families, caregivers, and survivors.

Now, it’s time to begin your ride!


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