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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Military Spouses Made Strong Impression on First Lady

  • April 26, 2011
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For First Lady Michelle Obama, the 2008 presidential campaign trail provided a front-row opportunity to learn about the challenges of military life and the struggles of military spouses — along with military mothers, grandmothers and sisters. Before the general election, she decided if she became first lady, she would use the position to “shine a light” on issues associated with military families.

“These aren’t stories of sadness,” Obama told American Forces Press Service. “They’re stories of success, triumph and coming together and unifying. These are the stories the country needs to be motivated by.”

Still, the hardships stood out. One military couple trying to adopt told the first lady about the frustration of filling out new paperwork each time they moved. A 15-year-old girl cared for her younger siblings so that her mother could look after her father who had been severely burned. More frequent were the difficulties faced by many military spouses forced to “start over” with new employers after moving.

The stories touched Obama, prompting her to share them with the rest of the nation.

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