“It’s become one of my defining missions as First Lady, and that’s to help the rest of our country better understand and appreciate the incredible service of you and your families, and to make sure that your voices are heard back in Washington and that your needs are met, and to make sure that we realize our vision of an America that truly supports and engages our military families. That’s why I'm here,” said Mrs. Obama to a crowd of 3,500 Marines, sailors and their family members at Camp Pendleton, California.
Given all that the service members and their families do to take care of America, The First Lady emphasized every American's a responsibility to do their part. That’s why she issued a national challenge to every sector of society to take action to support and engage our military families -- not just now, but for years to come:
We have to build the capacity to support you and your families at every stage of your lives. But to do this, we need a truly national commitment -- no one can sit on the sidelines. One percent of Americans may be fighting our wars, but 100 percent of Americans need to be supporting you in that fight.
The First Lady also paid tribute to all fallen heroes, including Camp Pendleton Marines who gave their lives just this past week: Sergeant Brandon Bury. Lance Corporal Derek Hernandez. Corporal Donald Marler. Sergeant John Rankel. Lance Corporal Michael Plank.