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Veterans and Military Families

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It’s in their blood to serve. Volunteers, like John Cox, of Augusta, Kansas seem to thrive when giving back to their communities. A Navy veteran and now an RSVP volunteer, he finds people from all walks of life to help -- and situations from the common to the elaborate -- that need attention.

For the past 10 years, our nation has been at war. As the members of our Armed Services deploy, it is critical that they need to know that their family has the support it needs. Those that have volunteered to serve in the military must have the peace of mind of knowing that when their deployment and service is over, they will have a sustained support system.

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.

I wanted to spread the word about a very important event that the President, the First Lady and I hosted today at the White House in case you missed it. We gathered together with members of the Cabinet, military service members and their families to highlight the efforts of the federal government to support our nation’s 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."


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