First Lady and Dr. Biden Announce They Are “Joining Forces” to Support Military Families
Here at ServiceNation, we believe that military families represent the best our nation has to offer. That’s why we were so excited to see First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden announce their “Joining Forces” initiative yesterday, which aims to build a support program for military families that will continue for many years to come.
Boiled down to the inspirational basics, the First Lady said yesterday that Joining Forces is “a challenge to every segment of American society to take action, to make a real commitment to supporting and engaging these families.”
The announcement of the program to support military families comes a few months after President Obama instructed government agencies to increase the resources geared towards helping military families get access to education, health care and other needs. This program is truly a great one, because no matter your politics, we can all agree that the families of the soldiers, sailors and pilots who make up our military deserve our support for the sacrifices they make every day to keep our country safe.
The White House and especially the First Lady and Dr. Biden have worked to get over fifty commitments from state and local governments and from for-profit and non-profit businesses to make a promise to work towards greater integration and support for military families. The First Lady put it like this in her speech yesterday:
This a challenge to every segment of American society. And our motto is simple: Everyone can do something. So we’re Joining Forces across the federal government…They’re going to give military families a seat at the table across the federal government. It means that we’ll all be working together to make sure that we’re forging new federal partnerships to serve military families for years to come.
We’re going to be Joining Forces with states and cities and local governments…We’re Joining Forces with businesses, both large and small, including some of America’s biggest employers, which are making new commitments as we speak today. Companies like Sears, Kmart, and Sam’s Club are telling military spouses who work at their stores that if they move to a new duty station, they’ll do their best to have a job waiting for those spouses. Siemens is setting aside 10 percent of their open positions for veterans.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is stepping up, encouraging its millions of members to hire military spouses and veterans; to find mentors for military wives and women veterans…Technology leaders like AOL, Indeed.com, Cisco, will help connect military spouses and veterans with employers that are hiring. Companies like Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft will train military spouses in new technologies so they can start their own businesses. And believe me, the list goes on and on, because every business can do something…We’re Joining Forces with nonprofits, with reach -- their reach into communities all across the country. The USO is going to expand its efforts to help Americans support military families right here on the home front...
But perhaps most importantly, the First Lady reminded us all that we are Americans, and that we have a special duty to ourselves, our communities and our country to make it a better place. Millions of Americans do that every day, by serving their country, both as civilians and in the military. Joining Forces is about all of that and more:
And finally, this is about all of us Joining Forces as Americans. And we can do it right where we live and work.
ServiceNation is proud to have played a role in the formation of Operation Honor Cards, an initiative where individuals can pledge a certain number of volunteer hours in honor of a servicemember, veteran or military family. By signing up and logging in, volunteers can work towards bettering our communities and supporting military families at the same time. Operation Honor Cards has the goal of reaching 5,000,000 hours of community service performed. So sign up today and dedicate your volunteer hours to a servicemember or military family!
As President Obama said in his introduction yesterday, this is about more than community service (though that’s important, too):
This is about the responsibility that we each have to one another, as Americans. It’s about the fact that, as Joe said, that 1 percent of Americans may be fighting on our behalf, but 100 percent of Americans need to be supporting our troops and their families. This campaign is about renewing those bonds and those connections between those who serve and the rest of us who live free because of their service.
Want to see the speeches? Check out the First Lady and Dr. Biden below.