Last week, President Obama visited with Soldiers at Ft. Bliss, an U.S. Army installation that has seen 200,000 personnel deploy to Iraq, serving in every major phase of the war. The troops from Ft. Bliss played a key role in advancing stability in Iraq enabling the transition out of combat operations and facilitating the expanding capacity of Iraqi Forces. In his remarks, the President expressed his pride in his role as Commander-in-Chief of the world’s finest fighting forces. He also offered his gratitude for their service and sacrifice, and reiterated his dedication to taking care of them and their families. As the President walked around the room, he shook hands with every service member and gave hugs to the friends and family members there in support. As an Iraq veteran from a proud military family myself, I was incredibly honored to meet some of these remarkable individuals and thank them for all that they had accomplished.
Later in the evening, the President addressed the nation from the Oval Office. He spoke of ending the combat mission in Iraq responsibly, reshaping our relationships in the Middle East, and honoring our commitments to those who have served our country with such valor. Each of these goals has been Administration priorities from day one. The President, Vice President, First Lady and Dr. Biden have worked tirelessly to ensure service members, veterans, and their families are given the support, benefits and recognition they deserve and have earned. From challenging Americans to mobilize in ways that support and engage military families as seen in First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden's op-ed to creating a 21st century VA that is funded and equipped to handle the new challenges that face today’s Veterans, the Obama Administration has brought the issues facing service members and their families to the forefront of our national agenda.
Darienne Page is Assistant Director in the Office of Public Engagement and lead for Veterans, Wounded Warrior and Military Family Outreach