FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – First Lady of the United States Jill Biden visited here March 9 to share a message of support with Families reassuring those in attendance at the Passenger Processing Center that she and the president understand their struggles and that they are not alone.
Biden’s visit was part of Joining Forces, a White House initiative that centers on the needs of military and veteran Families, caregivers, and survivors, in the areas of employment and entrepreneurship, military child education, and health and well-being.
Justice Bryant introduced the First Lady to the audience that included about 50 Fort Campbell Families of deployed Soldiers. Bryant is a Fort Campbell High School junior whose parents have adopted two children from Ukraine.
“It is my great honor to introduce the First Lady of the United States and a woman who has dedicated her career to bringing people together to support military Families, veterans, caregivers and survivors,” she said.
Families attended a dinner and listened to Biden make remarks about the current situation in Ukraine.
“There are moments when we realize history is being written right in front of us, when we can almost feel ourselves cross the line that will divide our world into before and after,” she said. “And this is one of those moments.”
Biden said she understands the struggle military Families experience while their loved ones are away, as well as the fear of not knowing what is happening overseas.
“I see a lot of moms here with kids, and as an Army mom myself I know you and your Family serve alongside your loved ones,” she said. “I happen to know that because my son was deployed to Iraq, so I know how that feels when every morning you get up and you say a prayer because that’s the first thing that’s on your mind.”
She added that while military Families are often fully prepared for deployments and understand the emotional struggles that come with it, the current situation in Ukraine developed quickly and for this reason many Families did not get the kind of preparation they would normally have.
“You didn’t get months to prepare, and it was kind of unexpected for all of us,” Biden said. “You didn’t have time to say that lengthy goodbye and, in the moment, it probably felt like your life changed.”
This burden, she said, isn’t one that military Families must shoulder alone and that there are resources within the military community to help them cope.
“I know this community has a fierce bond and you all look out for one another, you love one another and you’re Family,” Biden said. “I want you to know that you don’t have to carry this weight alone. It’s OK to ask for help.”
Meet and greet
Biden closed her remarks with a message of praise and said she sees the same strength in military Families now that she saw in the past, despite the rapidly changing circumstances and the unpredictability.
“Your Families faced this challenge like you’ve faced all other challenges,” she said. “Your commitment to this country never waivers and you deserve that same devotion. I want you to know that your commander-in-chief thinks about you every single day. I am working for you. Joe is working for you, and we cannot thank you enough for what you do.”
After her remarks Biden met with each Family personally and spoke with them about their deployed Soldiers.