BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Michelle Obama’s Support for Military Families

Posted by pamelase on January 28, 2009

mobama4During the presidential campaign, First Lady Obama advocated for military spouses and families by visiting several military bases in North Carolina, New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and other states. There was never a point where I thought she was speaking to military spouses to get her husband elected.

I believe that she empathized with military spouses and families, and acted as such. “While campaigning for her husband, Obama met with military families, learning about the challenges they face. She felt that not only were their struggles not often remembered, but the voices of military spouses were not heard.As a military spouse, I know I was not heard when my husband was deployed, and when he returned to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I believe that she will be a compassionate First Lady, as she has vowed to stay committed to and support military families. As a Purple Heart wife of an OIF veteran, this is very important to me.

In a recent interview with ABC News’ Bob Woodruff, Obama “vowed to support military families and stay grounded in the White House.” I know she is true to her word. The First Lady has worked with Blue Star Families, formerly Blue Star Families for Obama, an organization that reached out to the Obama campaign this past summer.

At the Democratic National Convention, First Lady Obama led a day of service on behalf of the organization with the tagline: pro-military, pro-Obama. So often it is assumed that if you are affiliated with the military, you are republican and supported McCain. BSF changed this notion. I am proud to be a part of this growing organization, as we ensure that the pro-military, Blue Star voices do no fall on deaf ears. During my husband’s deployment, I felt alone, and I was alone. No one understood what I was going through on a daily basis, and I wish Obama was around when I was struggling with these issues. However, I am glad that we now have a president and first lady who are both extremely concerned about our nation’s military.

You can read more about First Lady Obama’s thoughts in her poignant essay featured in January 18th’s USA Weekend.

For more information on veteran services, check out BPW’s Connect-A-Vet resource center.

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3 Responses to “Michelle Obama’s Support for Military Families”

  1. espressodog said

    I think military spouses and a candidate spouses have a lot in common and that is one of the reason’s Michelle has gravitated to this issue. You spouse is working long grueling hours in foreign places (Fallujah or Peoria) and you are expected to be unfailingly supportive even when things back home are tough. And when they come home they are bruised and injured and the government support is less than expected considering that they were serving their country. Sure candidates rarely die on the trail but there are some parallels.

  2. pamelase said

    I think that is a great correlation. I am grateful that my husband does not have to go back to Iraq, having completed two tours there, but his comrades are being sent back for fourth and fifth tours of duty spanning 18 months or more. I cannot express how difficult this is for spouses and families of military service men and women. What is more disheartening is that America as a whole doesn’t fully understand the sacrifice that we all make. I think the Obamas will help to change this notion.

  3. Laurie said

    How do you know she is true to her word? It seems an odd statement to say without something to back it up – other than that she really enjoyed the support of a DEMOCRATIC group of women. I don’t believe that is sufficient evidence to prove anything, to be honest. She hasn’t done anything other than verbally court those women. What about the military spouses who distrust her husband because he can’t get the most basic thing required to even become an officer – a security clearance. Or is she just going to listen to the ones who think she’s fabulous and were Democrats to begin with?

    I’ve searched and searched for a website where she has offered to listen to the concerns of military families and I’ve yet to see one. As organized as her husband’s campaign was, and as internet savvy as they are, it tells me that she is paying lip service to supporting military families. It would have taken very little time to set up something simple. I, for one, have not fallen for the charismatic personalities with no substance behind them. As nice as they are, I care about results and efficiency and not smiles and platitudes.

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