USA — First Lady Visits Camp Pendleton

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., June 14, 2010 — First Lady Michelle Oba­ma greet­ed more than 3,500 ser­vice­mem­bers, civil­ians and their fam­i­ly mem­bers yes­ter­day at the Main­side parade field here.

She came to express her grat­i­tude for their ser­vice and sac­ri­fice because, as she point­ed out, so many of those who have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have come from this sprawl­ing base in north­ern San Diego County. 

“In the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, no Marine base — and few bases any­where — has sac­ri­ficed more for Amer­i­ca, more lives, more wound­ed war­riors, than your fam­i­lies and your col­leagues,” Oba­ma said. 

“We have to build a capac­i­ty to sup­port you and your fam­i­lies at every stage of your lives,” she added, refer­ring to all mil­i­tary mem­bers and their fam­i­lies. This effort needs a nation­al com­mit­ment, Oba­ma said. “No one can sit on the side­lines,” she said. “One per­cent of Amer­i­cans may be fight­ing our wars, but 100 per­cent of Amer­i­cans need to be sup­port­ing you in that fight.” 

The effort to coor­di­nate gov­ern­ment agen­cies to pro­vide top-notch sup­port ser­vices for mil­i­tary fam­i­lies is one of her high­est pri­or­i­ties, Oba­ma said. 

“My hus­band has ordered a gov­ern­ment-wide review that urges that every depart­ment to make sup­port­ing your fam­i­lies a high pri­or­i­ty,” she said, “and it will lay the foun­da­tion for a coor­di­nat­ed gov­ern­ment approach for years to come.” 

Oba­ma said her husband’s admin­is­tra­tion plans to ensure that mil­i­tary fam­i­lies receive the sup­port and ben­e­fits they need. The admin­is­tra­tion has increased funds for mil­i­tary hous­ing, child care, coun­sel­ing and career devel­op­ment for spous­es, she not­ed, and has extend­ed the Fam­i­ly Med­ical Leave Act to more mil­i­tary fam­i­lies and care­givers. And recent­ly, the admin­is­tra­tion expand­ed vet­er­ans’ health care and gave “unprece­dent­ed sup­port to care­givers,” Oba­ma said. 

While progress is being made, much work remains to be done, Oba­ma acknowl­edged. She laud­ed the Defense Depart­ment for launch­ing the Mil­i­tary Fam­i­ly Life Project, a study that will assess qual­i­ty of life among ser­vice­mem­bers and spous­es. Oba­ma said she has been urg­ing mil­i­tary spous­es to par­tic­i­pate if select­ed because “the more we know about your pri­or­i­ties, the more we can do to meet them,” she said. 

Tak­ing care of mil­i­tary fam­i­lies goes beyond the gov­ern­ment, Oba­ma not­ed. “Every Amer­i­can has to play a role,” she said. 

“It’s about every Amer­i­can remem­ber­ing that you and your fam­i­lies; you are the heroes among us,” she added. “It’s about every Amer­i­can doing their part. It’s sim­ple. It’s about mak­ing sure that we real­ize our vision of an Amer­i­ca that stands by you at every stage of your lives.” 

The vis­it here was one in a series of appear­ances Oba­ma has made to high­light one of her sig­na­ture issues as first lady — the chal­lenges mil­i­tary fam­i­lies con­tin­ue to face dur­ing near­ly a decade at war. 

Oba­ma spent the day tour­ing the base’s new state-of-the-art Wound­ed War­rior Bar­racks that opened ear­li­er this year. She also met pri­vate­ly with ser­vice­mem­bers and their fam­i­lies to learn more about their par­tic­u­lar needs and concerns. 

For Michelle Tur­nage, wife of Marine Corps Mas­ter Sgt. Fel­ton Tur­nage, get­ting to see the first lady in per­son was a chance of a lifetime. 

“I think she is an amaz­ing woman, and I’m so glad she came all the way to Cal­i­for­nia in per­son to deliv­er that mes­sage,” she said. 

Eliz­a­beth Ihirg, 27, whose hus­band has deployed four times in the last five years, said she felt an instant con­nec­tion with what the first lady said. 

“I think her speech was right on, and I think she real­ly spoke to those of us who have been deal­ing with the pres­sures of deploy­ments and fam­i­ly issues,” she said. 

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefence.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →