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First Lady Michelle Obama visits Camp Pendleton

First Lady Michelle Obama thanked 3,500 Marines and their family members Sunday afternoon for their service and sacrifice in two wars and pledged to “make sure your voices are heard in Washington and your needs are met.”

Obama said her husband’s administration plans to ensure that military families receive the support and benefits they need, including child care, educational assistance and medical counseling. She also said the administration wants to make it easier for spouses to navigate the complex system of survivors’ benefits.

A hush fell over the audience when she listed the names of five Camp Pendleton Marines killed in the last week in Afghanistan. “Our prayers and support are with these fallen Marines and their families,” she said.

Obama, who visited the Wounded Warrior Barracks and met with parents of children with severe medical needs, called Camp Pendleton’s program for families a model for the rest of the nation. She also praised civilian groups in Orange, San Diego and Riverside counties for their work helping troops and their families.

“One percent of America may be fighting our wars, but 100% of America needs to be supporting you in that fight,” she said.

Michelle2 Obama appeared to win over the audience by her familiarity with Marine terms, ending her speech with a rousing “Semper fi,” the Marine motto.

"It’s good to know that somebody is looking out for us,” said Patricia Ramirez, 19, wife of Cpl. Miguel Ramirez, 20.

Elizabeth Aguilar Smith, 27, whose husband, Lt. Andrew Smith, 29, previously deployed to Iraq and Africa, said the first lady hit every subject that was important and with “a great deal of love.”

Michelle Leonard, 41, whose husband, Lt. Col. Scott Leonard, is deployed in Afghanistan, said the speech was particularly good for younger spouses experiencing their first or second deployment. Leonard’s husband has deployed five times in six years.

“A lot of the younger wives have no family nearby,” she said. “It’s good for them to know the first lady supports them.”

-- Tony Perry at Camp Pendleton

Photos: First Lady Michelle Obama greets Marines and their families at Camp Pendleton. During a speech at the base, she said her husband's administration planned to ensure that military families get the support they need. Credit: Denis Poroy / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (7)

In the days leading up to Mrs. Obama's visit to Camp Pendleton, the expected turn out rate was so low that 2,000 Marines from units all across the base had their liberty secured on what should have been a well earned day off, and were ORDERED to be there. Our Marines work hard and deserve their time off! They should NOT be made to attend a speech they have no interst in hearing to keep up this fallacy that Obama and his administration are well supported by the military.

Fact: George W. Bush was NOT for the 'G.I. Bill of Rights'. President Obama fully supports the G.I. Bill of Rights, and has shown deep concern for repeated deployments, whereas under the Bush administration, soldiers had multiple deployments. President Obama has also made sure the Veterans Administration is more fully funded and Mrs. Obama is sincerely concerned for the plight of military families and the undue burden they face, all across this country. That is not lip service, but genuine concern. It has been a major focus of Mrs. Obama's and she will continue to shine a light on the difficulties and how our nation needs to 'step up to the plate' for our military families. Just some facts.

Well said MrsMarine!

Agree with Mrs. Marine. This administration and Congress are the most disengenuous people ever serving in Washington. Fort Hood anyone? Must be election/campaign mode-please voters see it for what it is, if this party stays in control-they will go hog wild with the agenda that is on hold until after November.

I wonder if this was to make up for her husband vacationing rather than making the traditional appearance at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day?

I find her, and her husband's concern a little shallow and insincere, given their past (and present) leftist radicalism and hostility toward our military.

mrsmarine.....quick making stuff up, you birfer.....


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