Sunday, 4 July 2010

Independence Anniversary Message: Supporting Our Military Families

                                 [Michelle Obama]

By Michelle Obama

Independence Day is a wonderful opportunity to come together with family and friends to celebrate our country and the life we all enjoy. But the freedoms and rights that characterize our nation would not be possible without the brave men and women in uniform and the families that support them.

This Independence Day, I have a special message for all Americans about supporting our military families:

Our military families are tested each day. Multiple and extended deployments mean that children often don’t see their moms or dads for long periods of time. Civilian spouses juggle the demands of work and family without their partners for long stretches of time. Family members serve as primary care givers for our wounded warriors, and too many families bear the heartbreaking reality of moving forward with their lives while keeping the memory of our fallen heroes alive. Through it all, military families contribute countless hours to supporting other military families, being role models to our children, and making communities stronger.

A small percentage of Americans fight our wars, but we need 100 percent of Americans to support these brave men and women and their families back home. Here are some things you can do in your community to get started:

• Stay informed about the activities and concerns of military families in your community and across the nation;

• Take time out to get to know and express appreciation to military families;

• Help ensure military families have the opportunity to share their stories and voice their concerns in your community;

• Help ensure the places where you work, worship and participate in community life connect their activities to addressing military families' unique challenges; and

• Identify opportunities in your communities to tap into the unique skills, experience and commitment to service our military families display each day.

To all of our military families serving this Nation around the world, I offer my sincerest thank you. Your courage, service, and sacrifice are an inspiration to us all.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

P.S. Today, the President and I will welcome more than 1,200 troops and their family members from all over the country to the White House to celebrate with us. We're hosting a special USO concert, featuring Brandi Carlile, Cedric "The Entertainer," The Killers and "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band, and wrapping up the evening with a view of the fireworks on the National Mall. You can watch the whole thing live on starting at 7 p.m. EDT.