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The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

Background Information On The First Lady's Visit To United State Army Garrison, Vicenza

Today, as part of the Joining Forces initiative, the First Lady will visit military servicemembers and their families stationed at U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza in Italy.  Vicenza is home to the U.S. Army Africa HQ, and elements of the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which were among the first boots on the ground during the response to the Ebola crisis. 

While in Vicenza, the First Lady will attend a barbeque hosted by the base and the USO, where she will deliver remarks to Vicenza’s soldiers and their families.  In her remarks, the First Lady will thank the service members and their families and remind them that their sacrifices have not gone unnoticed by the American people. Mrs. Obama, her daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama, and her mother, Marian Robinson will serve lunch to the troops and families in attendance. 

Knowing that children of military families face unique challenges when their parents are deployed, the First Lady will meet with the children of service members. Mrs. Obama and her daughters will read to a group of 300 military-connected school children at the Villagio Youth and Teen Center. The First Lady will read, Don’t Play with Your Food, and Sasha and Malia Obama will read Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great. At the end of the event, each child will take home with a selection of new books, which were contributed by Disney and Blue Star Families as part of the Books on Bases Program.

Finally, the First Lady will return to the Villagio Youth and Teen Center.  There, she will join nearly 30 soon-to-be, and new moms on base, in a roundtable discussion to hear about the opportunities and challenges of raising military families while stationed overseas. The conversation will focus on the experiences of American Military families living abroad.