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Veterans and Military Families

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As a national service organization, our thoughts and efforts are never far from our troops. If there's one group of Americans that not only demonstrates but embodies the ethos of coming together for others, it is our men and women in uniform. With good reason, we call them our service members.

Watch a video from the Independence Day celebration at the White House. The President and First Lady joined more than 1,200 military heroes and their families for a barbeque, a special USO show featuring Train and Amos Lee, and a viewing of the fireworks over the National Mall.

After a long career with the U.S. Military, retired Lieutenant Colonel and Vietnam Veteran Howard Parker Rice found himself unable to stop serving. RSVP of Allen County provided the opportunity for him to continue serving by helping active military members and their families through the hardships of deployment.

For too many veterans, returning home from war does not mean the battle is over. In fact, for some, the battle has just begun. Adjusting to civilian life can be challenging, especially when a veteran is suffering from an injury, depression, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Yet, some returning soldiers can neither drive nor have the daily support necessary to make it to the frequent appointments required for treatment—creating stress for themselves and their families.

A few years ago, as I began to travel around the country and talk to all sorts of people, one set of stories always tugged at my heart.They took my breath away.They inspired me.And they motivated me to learn more.They were stories of strength, courage, and patriotism that define our nation's military families. And I know that Fayetteville is filled with them.

Yesterday, the President, Vice President, First Lady and Dr. Biden launched Joining Forces,an unprecedented national initiative to support and honor our military families. “This campaign is about all of us, all of us joining together, as Americans, to give back to the extraordinary military families who serve and sacrifice so much, every day, so that we can live in freedom and security,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.

Last month, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake and the Corporation for National and Community Service teamed up with more than 125 veterans, active duty military service members, and AmeriCorps members to help build and rehabilitate homes in Annapolis and Baltimore.

Earlier today, First Lady Michelle Obama sent this letter to military families and military family service organizations. We wanted to share it with you as part of our commitment to serve our military families.

The Obama Administration is committed to taking care of our troops, military families and veterans and this week the White House honored the military and their families for all their hard work in service to our nation. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill spent the Fourth of July in Iraq with American soldiers. While there, they participated in a naturalization ceremony for more than 150 servicemen and servicewomen who became U.S. citizens while stationed in the Middle East. Dr. Jill Biden later shared lunch with U.S. servicewomen at Camp Victory and listened to soldiers there, saluting them for "managing all the challenges of parenting -- securing health care, child care and education -- while one or both parents are away."

On Saturday, May 8th, 2010, a group of veterans and other volunteers arrived at 21 acres to prepare a Veteran Pea Patch for planting. 21 acres is a non-profit, dedicated to assisting the Woodinville, Washington community and surrounding areas in providing pea patches for local citizens and larger sites for groups that have a constituency.

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