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Family Matters Blog: Stars ‘Join Forces’ With First Lady

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2011 – A few top entertainment industry stars have joined forces with First Lady Michelle Obama to help shine the light on military families and their service and sacrifice.

The entertainment industry’s Inter-Guild Joining Forces Task Force today released new public service announcements featuring producer and director Steven Spielberg, movie star Tom Hanks and legendary talk show host Oprah Winfrey, a White House news release said. The task force developed the PSAs in support of the Joining Forces campaign, a national initiative launched by the first lady and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, to support and honor service members and their families.

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America West formed the task force to provide creative and production support for Joining Forces, the release said, and to inform and inspire their members about military families.

The PSAs tell real stories about America’s military families and call on Americans to give back to ensure service members and military families have the support they deserve.

“The entertainment community answered the Joining Forces call and has done what they do best -- bring to life stories that move us,” Obama said in the release. “Through this PSA campaign, Americans will learn more about the unique challenges and needs of our military families; see their strength, resilience and service; and find out how they can give back to these extraordinary troops and families who have given us so much.”

The guilds launched the PSA project following the first lady’s visit to Los Angeles in June. She discussed military families’ stories and issues and encouraged the guilds to incorporate their experiences into film, TV and digital media. The PSAs are a direct outcome of that visit, the release said, adding that A&E Networks, CBS, Comcast NBC, Disney ABC, FOX and WB have agreed to support the PSA campaign.

The PSAs encourage Americans to get involved in supporting military families by visiting the Joining Forces website. Visitors to the site can send messages of thanks, find opportunities to get involved and share stories of service, the release said.

“As a military mom I know just how much it means when people reach out to show their support for our service members and their families,” Biden said in the release. “The first lady and I hope that this campaign will inspire more Americans to take action and reach out to military families in their own communities around the country.”

To view the PSAs, visit Spielberg PSA, Hanks PSA and Winfrey PSA, or go to this site.


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