First Lady Jill Biden met with military spouses and honored them for their service and sacrifice at Fort Carson Army base in Colorado on Thursday.
“Thank you for your service. Thank you for all that you’ve done for our nation. And for me as well, as a military mom and a military daughter,” Biden said, according to remarks provided by the White House to American Military News
“There’s a saying: If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. But after getting to know so many of you over the years, I think we should change it to ‘If you want something done, ask a military spouse,’” the first lady said to the majority-women audience. “You change jobs and start businesses. You handle the logistics of every move and make sure your kids have what they need to keep learning. You “default parent” and are steadfast partners to your spouses—whether they’re stateside or halfway around the world.”
Video of some of the First Lady’s remarks can be viewed below.
The event, hosted by the United Service Organization Spouse Connection, came one day before the May 7 annual Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
“And many of you have done it all through deployment after deployment and 20 years of war. Yes, you understand that loving a service member means you’ll face challenges. You know there will be loneliness and anxiety at times—and a lifetime of change,” she continued. “You’ve learned how to push through the hard times—how to adapt, persevere, and keep going. But these challenges shouldn’t be harder than they need to be.”
In her speech, Biden emphasized the importance of supporting military families, touting the recently revived Obama-era White House initiative “Joining Forces.”
“That’s why Joining Forces, our White House initiative to support military and veteran families, survivors, and caregivers matters so much to me. Whether it’s access to better employment opportunities or affordable, quality childcare, or better mental health and wellness resources, we need to do more. Your service to our country has earned nothing less,” she said.
After her speech, Biden visited with dozens of military spouses who attended the event, with several noting the difficulty of finding affordable childcare.
U.S. Sens. John Hickenlooper, Michael Bennett, Rep. Doug Lambourn and Colorado’s Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera were also present at the event.
The Associated Press reported that there are currently over 1.3 million active-duty service members, more than half of whom are married. At least 642,000 children under the age of 18 are living in military households.
Joining Forces is a program seeking to create flexible, transferable and remote job opportunities for military families in order to ease the difficulties inherent in the frequent travel lifestyle of active-duty families.