the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

Remarks by the First Lady and Dr. Biden in Press Availability

Warrior and Family Support Center
San Antonio, Texas

5:00 P.M. CDT

DR. BIDEN:  I wanted to thank Judy for taking us around today and showing us this beautiful family center.  And it was an honor for us to meet the families here at the center.  And up on the ward, we met several soldiers and their families. 

And actually you might think, oh, gosh, you’re going to a hospital and you’re going to see Wounded Warriors.  But actually, I think we leave here more inspired, because of the resilience and strength we see in our Wounded Warriors and their families. 

MRS. OBAMA:  And the thing that is amazing and one of the reasons why we wanted to come to this facility is because, as Judy explained, all of this that you see around is donated by the community -- 100 percent of every salary of every brick of every piece of wood, of every bit of food.  This is all done by the community.

And as you all know, Jill and I just launched “Joining Forces,” and we’re rallying the nation around our military families.  And a lot of people are going to wonder, well, how can I help?  What can I do?  This family center is an example of how communities step up and support the military families and the troops.  And they do it with their own dollars, with their own energy.

Judy said she has 67 volunteers waiting to volunteer at any given time.  We’ve seen university students here.  We’ve seen wives and mothers and sisters and brothers here helping.  And I talked to one young man, who -- I told him he should do the press avail.  (Laughter.)  He was saying that even as a soldier, he didn’t know that these resources existed.  And that’s what we want the nation to know.

This is the kind of stepping up that we can do, because most people will step up if they know the need is there.  And San Antonio is an example of that.  And there are hundreds of communities like this all across the nation.  We want to see thousands of communities like this, because not every family -- military family is going to live near a base.  They’re not going to live near this resource, but they need to have the same type of resource where they live.

And this is the kind of thing that individuals and businesses and nonprofits working together can create.  So this is our task.  We want to travel the nation, showing and lifting up and shining a light on models like these to give people around the country the inspiration and the ideas they need.  We’re encouraging people, if they want to find out how to get engaged and work with a military family, to go to joiningforces.gov, our website. 

We’re going to have this center; we’re going to have other resources linked there, where people can go and find out how they can help.  We’re going to encourage families here to share their ideas, go on that site, so that other people who don’t know what to do can get some ideas about help.

We are grateful to you -- Mom, they call her.  (Laughter.)  We would like -- I was asked by the commander here, do not steal her.  (Laughter.)  I’m not going to steal her, because we need you here.  We just need to replicate you --

MS. MARKELEZ:  Thank you very much.

MRS. OBAMA:  -- and scatter you around the nation. 

MS. MARKELEZ:  This building is thousands and thousands of people.  Mr. Steve Huffman is the builder, ma’am.  And he is the man who raised the money, along with a large group of people.  (Applause.)

MRS. OBAMA:  Well, thank you so much.  We’ve got a long list of things -- we’re to two more cities?  Yes, so we’re not done yet.  (Laughter.)  I’m not done yet.  So we hope you all and the media here, you keep shining a light.

DR. BIDEN:  Thank you for being here.

MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)

END
5:04 P.M. CDT