This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Search form

The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

Remarks by the First Lady at a Joining Forces Drop-By Before a Screening of "Star Trek Beyond"

South Court Auditorium

5:07 P.M. EDT

MRS. OBAMA:  Hey!  (Applause.)  Hi, everybody.  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  You guys, rest yourselves.  You’ve got some movie-watching to do.  I don’t want you to get tired.  (Laughter.) 

You guys, welcome so much to the White House.  I want to start by thanking Simon, Karl, and Chris for being here, and for their wonderful introduction of me.  You guys are generous, compassionate, focused.  And it’s just -- isn’t it cool that they’re here?  (Laughter.)  You guys realize you’re about to see them on the -- (laughter) -- you do realize the connection?  They are in the movie.  They’re stars.  There are movie stars here.  See, I still do this when movie stars show up.  I’m like, you’re really here!  (Laughter.)

And they’re actually, like, normal-height people, handsome -- let’s just admit it, ladies, they’re very handsome, aren’t they?  (Applause.)  I mean, we’ve got to just let that out.  I could tell you wanted to just release that.  (Laughter.)  But I’m happy that you guys are here.

I also want to acknowledge our friends at Bad Robot and Paramount who made this all so possible.  So let’s give them a round of applause.  (Applause.)  Yes, yes. 

But I really want to welcome you guys.  We’ve got a good crew here.  We’ve got servicemembers who are here.  We have veterans who are here.  We have military spouses who are here - woo-hoo, woo-hoo! (Applause.)  We have Blue Star families and Gold Star families.  And, most importantly, we have the most amazing people on the planet, which are our military kids.  (Applause.)  I see you!  I see you!  Don’t make him put his hand -- I see you back there, babe.

Now, I’m not going to talk long, because I know I’m the only thing standing between you and the next installment of the “Star Trek” movie.  But I just wanted to take a moment just to make sure that you understand why we wanted to do this for you.  You guys are some special people.  And day in and day out, you serve our country in so many ways -- whether you’re in uniform or out of uniform, whether you’ve just finished a deployment, or whether you’re a veteran that’s just taken off the uniform -- and you’re still finding ways to serve this community and be leaders, and use all that training for the benefit of your neighbors and for this country.  Whether you’re a military spouse and -- I’ve come to learn all the challenges you all face -- moving every couple of years, trying to figure out life for your kids, holding down jobs of your own, changing careers -- just maintaining things and doing it all with a smile and all without complaint.

And, of course, we've got our military kids -- kids who we know -- most kids don't know what you go through.  The fact that many of you will be at 10, 11, 12 different schools in your lifetime.  Every couple years you're making new friends and figuring out how to adjust and trying to make the team and hoping that the AP classes are there, and checking in on your brothers and sisters and holding it down for your parents.  I've come to admire our military kids more than you all will know, because you guys are heroes.  And the only way your parents are able to serve is because you guys hold it down, and you do it with maturity beyond your years.  And that's going to serve you well, even though sometimes it doesn't feel like it, right?  It feels pretty hard, but you guys are going to walk away from this experience with a level of compassion and depth and leadership that you don't even know yet.  But I've seen it.

So whenever we get a chance to thank you and to show how much we appreciate you, we try to.  Now, one way we've done it, Jill and I, is by starting Joining Forces.  And we've spent the last seven and a half years really trying to follow through on the commitments that we made that we were going to use our platform to lift you guys up every single day. 

And as a result of the call to action, people have stepped up.  We've hired more veterans and military spouses, we've gotten more support for our military kids in school.  And we've gotten the country hopefully to change the way they see you, so that they do see you and appreciate what you do every day.  Maybe it's as simple as a "thank you," but it's not taking for granted what you do every day so that we can live free.

So having you guys here for this movie -- which is cool because it's not out yet, right?  (Laughter.)  Nobody else is seeing this -- this is really a special thing.  So you have to commit to not sharing the plotline.  (Laughter.)  You cannot give anything away, okay?  (Laughter.)  But you should lord it over your friends and family.  (Laughter and applause.)  Without a doubt.  It's like, guess what I did -- no, I can't.  (Laughter.)  I can't tell you anymore.  (Laughter.)  It's just amongst us, it's just between us.

But this is just a small but hopefully special way that we can show you how much we here at the White House and how many people, including all of the creators and the stars of "Star Trek," how cool they think you all are.  And this isn't just here -- this is everywhere around the country and, quite frankly, around the world.  We can't say it enough, we can't say it loud enough, but hopefully a cool movie in the White House is a good beginning.  (Laughter.)

So I am going to stop talking so that we can get on with the movie.  Again, I want to thank you guys for everything you do for our country.  Your First Lady loves you, and we hope you have a great time this afternoon.

"May the Force be with you."  (Laughter and applause.)

5:13 P.M. EDT