NEW YORK, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In an exclusive cover story to be published in PARADE magazine's April 24 issue, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden discuss Joining Forces, their new initiative to support and honor the families of America's service members, and their 'First Friendship.'
As announced by the White House today, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden are launching Joining Forces to educate, challenge, and encourage action from all sectors of our society — citizens, communities, businesses, non-profits, faith based institutions, philanthropic organizations, and government — so that our military families get the support they need and deserve.
Mrs. Obama tells PARADE, "When I started campaigning for my husband, I wanted to meet with groups of women to make sure their stories were a part of the conversation in his campaign and potentially in his administration. Everywhere I went there were military spouses, and their stories took my breath away – the pain of multiple deployments, trying to keep the family afloat. I remember sitting and crying with a group of them."
She adds: "Studies show that many military families feel like the country doesn't recognize or appreciate (them). And it breaks my heart, because they're serving as passionately and deeply and proudly as the men and women in uniform."
How can Americans help? "If you're a parent, what can you do to find out how many, if any, military children are in your schools? In your churches, synagogues, congregations? Are there National Guard or Reserve personnel? And then do what you do best. If you're an accountant, think about offering pro bono services. If you're a teacher, maybe offer tutoring to military kids. We want to encourage people to be creative and not feel they have to develop a whole other expertise."
Dr. Biden herself is an example of how people can get involved. She says: "After I got off the 2008 presidential campaign, where I'd also met so many military families, I called the National Guard and said, 'Where can I go? What can I do?' They referred me to Delaware Boots on the Ground (a nonprofit aiding local military families). We bonded instantly and we started a fund- raising campaign."
This is the first-ever joint project undertaken by Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden and their first joint magazine cover. To read outtakes from our exclusive interview, go to Parade.com/whitehouse. Look for the complete story in the April 24 issue of PARADE magazine in your local newspaper.
SOURCE PARADE Magazine