Dr. Biden Keeps National Guard in Mind
By Army Sgt. Darron Salzer
National Guard Bureau
ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 27, 2011 Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, invited the fiancée of a Delaware Army National Guard member to a Jan. 24 White House news conference to unveil a whole-of-government plan to strengthen military family support.
"You are family, and we are a National Guard family," Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, tells National Guard adjutants general during a Feb. 22, 2010, reception at the vice president's residence in Washington, D.C. Dr. Biden invited the fiancée of a Delaware National Guard officer to a Jan. 24, 2011, White House event announcing a whole-of-government approach to military family support. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Biden said she met Jessica Sanders about two weeks ago when she was seeing off Army Capt. Mark Thomas at a deployment ceremony for the Delaware Army National Guard’s 126th Aviation Regiment, which will provide medical evacuations for troops, allies and civilians in Afghanistan.
“I am heartened by the efforts to respond to the challenges facing our Guard and Reserve families -– from helping them sustain their businesses to supporting their reintegration back into their communities after deployment,” she said.
The plan to strengthen military family support, which will begin in the coming months, is a commitment by not only by the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments, but also on the part of several other federal government entities.
“Today is an important next step in this administration’s commitment to support our servicemen, their families and our members,” said Biden, who also is the parent of a Delaware Army National Guardsman.
President Barack Obama said his administration will focus on four areas: improving the quality of life for military families and veterans, education and development of military children, expanding efforts to help military spouses pursue their education and careers, and increasing child care availability.
"The Agricultural Department is expanding its support for families in rural areas,” he said, citing one example of the whole-of-government commitment. “A disproportionate number of our military families come from rural areas or are stationed in rural communities.”
Obama said his administration is making almost 50 specific commitments to military families. However, he added, the government can’t accomplish the mission alone.
“I want every service member who’s deployed to know that when you’re over there taking care of the country that you love, your country is back here taking care of the families that you love,” Obama said.