First Lady leads new initiative for military families
First Lady Michelle announces a new initiative for military families in the White House East Room on Tuesday
April 12th, 2011
03:59 PM ET

First Lady leads new initiative for military families

By CNN Wires Staff
WASHINGTON (CNN) -Supporting military families with jobs, education and other services is a matter of national security, President Barack Obama said Tuesday in helping his wife Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill announce a new initiative supporting relatives of American service members.

"Joining Forces" will encourage businesses to provide jobs for military spouses, schools to find ways to provide additional support to children of service members and also encourage everyday Americans to find ways to personally get involved.

"It's not just the right thing to do, it also makes this country stronger," Obama said, noting that soldiers often say the one thing he can do for them is ensure their families are cared for so they can focus on their jobs.

The initiative has secured pledges from major employers such as Walmart, Sears, Siemens and Cisco to hire and train employees from military families. The companies say they will also make sure spouses who already work for them have a job waiting when their military spouse is transferred to a new duty station.
The effort has also secured promises for educational support for military children as well as expanded access to wellness programs.

The group also will launch a public awareness campaign to educate Americans about military families and their needs. A new website, http://www.joiningforces.gov, will provide volunteering opportunities to serve military families.

"Working together, we're going to make sure our military families are never forgotten," Michelle Obama said.

The nonpartisan nonprofit Center for a New American Security will coordinate commitments under the initiative and help guide the effort with the help of a board that will includes retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Patty Shinseki, the wife of Eric Shinseki, a former Army general and current secretary of veterans affairs.

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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Pat in Jax, FL

    This is a nice thought but with so many states cutting back on services where is the money supposed to come from? There isn't enough money for the full-time citizen's children, in the state of FL they are talking about cutting out music, art and sports (middle and high school levels). I fully support our military adn respect the sacrifice they make to keep us safe but you can't take resources from one group of citizens to give to another.

    April 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  2. dom youngross

    The good that comes of this will be much appreciated by all. Those of good conscience already know the unrelenting strain on the military and their families.

    At the top of the list should be taking military paychecks permanently off the chicken-playing table when it comes to budget disputes. Tied for that priority are the needs of the record number of single, double, and triple amputees from IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    And Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain should ante up at least $5 billion each to fund the overall initiative.

    Also, all of congress should get involved in the effort by impeaching Obama for authorizing first covert CIA and then military action in Libya absent an imminent threat. Another help would be Kucinich mounting a liberal/progressive challenge to Obama for the 2012 democratic nomination.

    April 13, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  3. Career Service

    God bless the First Lady for her concern and leadership in the effort to support military families. While I have the utmost respect for the First Lady and strongly believe she has carried herself with grace and dignity, she will have a hard time convincing those of us in the military that the government truly cares because of the following: first, we're at war now on three fronts and the DOD is supposed to execute its missions with reduced funding; second, politicians had no worries about the military not being paid while the "fat cats" inside the beltway would've still received their six-figure salaries during the shutdown; and third, funding for the military has taken a backseat to more social programs that enable people to become more dependent on the government instead of forcing them to be independent and taking charge of their lives and families. The lack of prioritization and funding of the military by the politicians will hinder this noble initiative. But I still hope that the efforts by our First Lady will shed light on the less than 1% of the population who actually serve and their families that are dependent on them.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  4. Howard

    The public relations ,people at the White House have been working overtime to put lipstick on this pig (Michelle Obama). From school lunches to helping military families, the image makers and spin misters are attributing fabricated qualities and causes to the Obamas, to make them look good ... but, it's all phony smoke and mirrors !!!

    April 13, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Q

      Her husband is not even American. I would like to see her birth certifacte too. What is she hiding.....

      April 14, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  5. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Howard you are the devil. You are at the least a man of his own 'horn'!

    April 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Howard

      Yeah ... well, Obama is the anti-Christ !!!
      In a couple of years from now, when Obama's evil policies crash our economy, and people are plunged into real poverty, please remember that it was the well meaning gullible people like you, who praised the false messiah ... and, in retrospect all will finally know him as the prince of darkness !!!

      April 13, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  6. Q

    If you look close, you can see litte nubs from his horns poking up. They use makeup and special cameras to hide the truth. Not sure how they cover up his tail. I know it's there....

    April 14, 2011 at 9:32 am |
  7. Howard

    HYPOCRACY AND ZERO CREDIBILITY !!!
    The Obama's tell us to tighten our belts, and eat apple slices,
    while they use our tax money to employ a full time, personal pastry chief.

    April 14, 2011 at 11:45 am |