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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

First Lady Vows to Continue Fight on Behalf of Military Families, Veterans

  • April 11, 2012
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First Lady Michelle Obama began her remarks at a celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Joining Forces campaign by recounting a lengthy list of the initiative’s accomplishments.

“Over the past year, more than 1,600 businesses have hired more than 50,000 veterans and spouses, and they pledged to hire at least 160,000 more in the coming years,” Obama started.

“Technology and employment companies like Google, Monster and LinkedIn, they have stepped up to help connect veterans with good jobs. We’ve had state leaders that are passing legislation to make it easier for military spouses to renew their professional licenses and get back to work as their families move from state to state,” Obama continued.

“Medical schools are training our next generation of health care providers so that they can better care for our military families. The Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Treasury, Labor, they have all made groundbreaking announcements to support our nation’s veterans, our wounded warriors, our caregivers and our military spouses,” she added.

Obama named many other individuals, organizations and companies that stepped up as well, including the entertainment industry. “Over the past year, not a single person that we’ve talked to, that we have approached, has told us that they could not help, not a single person,” Obama said.

The message she wanted to convey Wednesday, however, was not one of looking back over the past year, but one to renew the nation’s call to action. ”It’s time for us to redouble our efforts. … I want to challenge Americans all across the country to keep raising the bar,” Obama said.

The first lady concluded by reiterating her commitment to make Joining Forces a “forever proposition.”

“We’re going to keep working until all of our veterans know that when they hit the job market, their skills will be rewarded. We’re not stopping until every military student gets an educational experience that honors their service. We’re not calling it a day until all of our military spouses can rest assured that the next time their family is transferred, they won’t have to leave their job behind.

Read the story by American Forces Press Service. Read a transcript of the celebration’s remarks on the White House website.

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