Thursday, April 26, 2012

Joining Forces Campaign by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden intends to encourage the 99% of Civilian Americans to Support their Troops in Big or Small Ways

 April 11th, 2012, marked the one-year anniversary of the Joining Forces Campaign, which has been spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden.  This anniversary was marked by some nice celebrations and a great show on The Colbert Report.  Joining Forces is a campaign to honor and support:  servicemembers, their families, and veterans. 

This is a very broad effort, mostly working to coordinate with other government agencies and especially non-profits to offer help to this population, which is less than 1% of the residents of the United States.  While there are many needs that are challenging to meet in this population some that the campaign has recently focused its efforts on:
  1. Jobs for military spouses--we're moving about every 2-3 years, so unemployment is much higher in this population than the civilian population.  Also some licenses, like nursing licenses, do not translate well across state lines.
  2. Health care available to veterans--this can be a spiderweb to navigate
  3. Simple services from civilian groups to help--like offering to
    1. mow the lawn when the spouse is deployed and the at-home parent has little kids and no easy way to keep up with yard work
    2.  child-sit while non-deployed parent goes grocery shopping or to a doctor's appointment.
What is Joining Forces?
Joining Forces is a way for the 99% of the country who are not servicemembers or dependents of servicemembers to support military members and their families.  The website has a myriad of ways for you to volunteer your time and talent in a way that will help support a military family or servicemember.  It is up to the average person to volunteer a little time to make a difference.  This is similar to the WWII idea and effort that
while "some are giving all," (dying in service to their country), "all can give some" (each resident of the U.S. can give a few hours of their time in service to others for their greater good of their local community and their country).
Link to the Colbert Report interview
Another Video
Best video explanation of the program   
Joining Forces websites:
Joining Forces White House website
Joining Forces All for Good website

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