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Veterans and Military Families

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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.

Imagine a young Soldier in Afghanistan walking into a tent, dropping his gear, and picking up a copy of Green Eggs and Ham to read to his daughter at home. Imagine, back home in base housing, his wife and daughter sit down to watch Daddy read a bedtime story from the other side of the world. At that moment, Daddy is home.

Last week CNCS CEO Patrick Corvington joined President Obama to honor thirteen outstanding Americans from across the country who have “performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens” with a 2010 Presidential Citizens Medal. All of the recipients are remarkable; living examples of the importance of service in addressing our nation’s most pressing challenges. Today, on Serve.gov, we wanted to highlight the work of one Presidential Citizens Medal recipient in particular who has dedicated his time to honor those who have served our nation.

On the eve of Veterans Day, I wanted to write with a simple message to our nation’s veterans: Thank you.

Last week, I traveled to San Francisco where I spent a few days on site visits and in discussions with service leaders. A big focus of this trip was highlighting our work to meet the needs of our veterans and military families.

Sixty-nine years ago, the world was transformed as soon as the first Japanese bombs began their descent over Pearl Harbor in a deliberate attack on the United States. Before that morning, Americans watched a foreign war grow outside of its borders into a worldwide crisis. The sudden attack on Naval forces in Hawaii brought the war home for every citizen of the country.

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.

Every February, couples and families take a special day to share their commitment and affection on Valentine's Day. This year, I had the opportunity to spend my Valentine's Day with soldiers and military families to share my appreciation for all they do and to reaffirm the Administration’s commitment to support our service members and their families.

As an Iraq War veteran, I am honored to work at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). We are home to more than 70,000 AmeriCorps members, whom we are celebrating as part of AmeriCorps Week.

Earlier today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden spoke to the meeting of the National Governors' Association here at the White House about an issue important to both: military families.Over the past two years, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden have traveled around the country and around the world, visiting with service members and their families, hearing their stories firsthand. Today, they called on America's Governors and all Americans to join their effort.

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