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The Need to Join Forces

by Clay Middleton

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.

To help mobilize this support for military families and veterans, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden have started the Joining Forces Initiative.

As a new member of the Administration’s Office for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships team and a Company Commander in the South Carolina Army National Guard, I was honored to participate in the conference call last week with First Lady Michelle Obama and Joshua DuBois, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships on the role of faith and community based groups in Joining Forces.

The First Lady laid out a clear vision for faith-based and community organizations to join forces in promoting education, employment, and wellness opportunities for veterans and military families.

Countless faith-based and community organizations are already supporting military families and veterans in a variety of ways. Through Joining Forces, we want to support ongoing efforts and invite more faith and community organizations to become engaged in military family and veterans issues.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is committed to engaging all Americans in positively impacting the lives of the military community through volunteering and national service. You can visit to search for volunteer opportunities, connect with organizations that help veterans and military families, post your own service projects, and more.

Each of us has a role to play in this effort. Will you join us?

Clay Middleton is the Associate Director for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Corporation for National and Community Service and Captain, Bravo Co. 198th Signal Battalion Company Commander, South Carolina Army National Guard.

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