Thursday, March 12, 2009

Making a Difference; MICHELLE OBAMA

When beginning this Making A Difference series I said we would present the famous and the not so famous. So far, we've features an NFL running back, a veteran who's reaching out to other veterans, an All-Star shortstop, and a former beauty queen/fashion designer and mentor to young women.

And today we'd like to talk about The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Robinson Obama.

No, this isn't about partisan cheer leading from this website. This is about presenting a committed mother and activist who is using her position to platform issues close to her....and in this case, the person happens to be married to The President of the United States.

Below, a video from NBC's Today Show.

As a military veteran, I give Mrs. Obama high marks for shining a spotlight on the plight of American military families. In my opinion, no select group of people have had to shoulder so much disproportionate burden as have the soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen and their families of any conflict in our history as we have asked these people to do in the Middle East. The wars of the 20th century affected the general population of America to a large degree; in the Second World War, in Korea, and in Vietnam everyone was serving or had a loved one serving, or knew of someone who was serving. That isn't the case with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; so much is being asked of so few, and of their families.

Quoting from a piece that DeNeen L. Brown in today's Washington Post-

"They are mothers and fathers who have lost their beloved children to war," Obama said. "They are husbands and wives keeping the family on track while their wives and husbands are deployed, on duty. They are grandparents, aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers who are taking care of children while single moms or dads in uniform are away."

She continued: "See, military families have done their duty, and we as a grateful nation must do ours. We must do everything in our power to honor them by supporting them; not just by word but by deed."

And more from CBS News, on her visit to Fort Bragg, NC.

Obama, who has said she will advocate for military families, also held closed door meetings with families today.

Sgt. 1st Class Ashlyn Lewis, who crossed paths with the first lady today, told the Associated Press that her biggest concern is medical care for veterans.

“Right now the biggest concern would be taking care of the vets, making sure that the people that are coming home are getting the proper medical care — not just for the Iraqi or Afghanistan vets, but also, there are a lot of Vietnam vets who haven't been receiving the proper care,” she said. “I believe (the Obamas) are headed in the right direction, but it's going to be a lot of work.”

As pointed out earlier in this series with the profile of Roy Foster and the for homeless and addicted veterans, more assistance is needed for ALL of our veterans. Everyday more aging World War II and Korean War vets leave us, Vietnam vets enter retirement age, and the men and women who served in Grenada, the First Gulf War, and in today's wars in the Middle East need more help, particularly medical care, and in many cases, emotional counseling. Homelessness among many of our veterans is a disgrace. This should never occur in the greatest nation on earth.

It warms my heart to know their in an advocate for these men and women living at 1600Pennsylvania Avenue.

I salute Michelle Obama for her commitment to those who serve, and to those who love them.

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