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tv   American Perspectives  CSPAN  April 16, 2011 11:00pm-2:00am EDT

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inform their families what is available to them. you know, a love my country and i love the fact that we should take care of these families, but i think oftentimes they go overboard. host: thank you for the call. also this tweet. most people have no idea nor do they care that so many of the enlisted families are struggling to survive. guest: i don't think it's that people don't care. i believe that there are those that don't have the connection with the military the way folks did in world war ii, for example, when lots and lots of people served. one thing that happened with the call of the national guard and reserve during this war, more communities affected. the local firefighters, the police officers, the school teachers. some of these folks that are a key part of the communities have
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been called up to serve. communities have stepped forward. i think it does -- it does call for all of us to raise awareness about the issues that military families are facing. to say these folks are strong, they are proud of their service, they're determined to follow-through with that service, but they look to all of us as americans for help. i think it is -- the caller raises a wonderful point -- very important point about the economy today. you know, military families start financially at a more fortunate level than a lot of people do today, because everybody in a military family is getting at least one paycheck. there are a lot of military benefits available for those families. the sacrifice that we ask of those families. the frequent moves, time away from home. we have a lot of kids who haven't seen their parents for
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birthdays, holidays, for several years. half of the military kids in the country today are under age 8. all these children have known is war. so we have to recognize that there are unique sacrifices our military families are called on today that sometimes pay can't compensate for the sacrifices. a lot of times it makes life better but can't compensate. host: we need the for-profit technical colleges to train our vets to be the well-trained technicians so we can prosper. john is joining us with joyce raez raezer. caller: good morning. good morning ms. raezer. guest: good morning. caller: i think there is a disconnect in the political section of the country. we have the recent initiative by the president and first lady to
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assist military personnel, visit military families for the support that they want to give us, but at the same time, we just got done with a budget debate and one of the big things that they debated was the -- whether or not military people in the field getting shot at were going to get paid. when they bring up that as a debatable issue, i have to wonder about the sincerity of other programs that they come up with for veterans. and based on the fact that they did even bring up the issue of pay for a debatable issue, i think everybody in washington, d.c. needs to hang their heads in shame, crawl back under their desk and hide for the black stain they put on the honor of the country. host: comment? guest: frankly. i agreed with you last week. we spent all of last week trying to get information from military families about what that
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shutdown would mean. it was a frustrating process. we agreed. my staff. my husband is retired army. my staff is mostly military family members. they're asking the questions you're asking. our association is testifying with others this afternoon before the senate armed services committee and one of the things we're going to say is please don't let this happen again. that debate last week over the shutdown and the fact that there were questions about what military services were going to be open and whether military families were going to get paid on time create aid lot more stress in a community that is already stressed enough. and we believe that concerned citizens need to tell their members of congress, don't put our military families through this again. host: at this point, then we will go to chuck on the phone. there is the best g.i. bill and job training skills.
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is that the case? guest: the military focuses on education. on active duty if they can fit it in between di ployments. today's g.i. bill is a wonderful tool to help people transition to veteran status and get the skills they need. it is the best g.i. bill since the post-world war ii g.i. bill. our guest is joyce raezer, national military family association executive director. we have a caller. good morning. caller: good morning. my problem is during the la last ... what's going on with congress here, in the taxes,
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both my retirement checks from the army and civil service, my taxes went up. now i'm speaking to a lot of young people in saying too many elitists in congress, in the senate. what we have to do is get these people to realize that you're not only hurting them when they're in the service, you are also hurring them after -- hurting them after they retire, on top of it. i don't think we should be going through the pain we are going through. guest: that is a tough issue. military families are taxpayers, too. we're concerned about the government and the deficit, but we want to make sure that military families aren't penalized for their service. and that we also want to make sure there is funding available to support those who are bearing the brunt of war today.
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host: the president, first lady, vice president biden and his wife out more with this initiative. this is what the scene looked like from the east room as we listen to paul from pensacola, florida. good morning. caller: good morning. joyce, let me put a different slant on this. i retired about 20 years ago. i feel they have had a very positive military career. i raised three children. two of them college graduates. when i joined the navy, i was making lots of money. i made base pay, $77 a month. i got b.a.q. for $55 a month. and i think probably due to a good manager, wife, we have taken -- never got anything extra from the military whatsoever. we have just taken our military
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pay and i guess survived. she's turned that -- we started at $77 a month, 55 b.a.q. i joined the navy in 1956. this has evolved into a net worth -- i guess i'm bragging. a net worth over a million bucks. so i feel that the military has been great to me and my family. guest: i think most military families who are serving today share your pride. your wife is one of my new heroes. there are a lot of military spouses out there like your wife, watching those finances, keeping the focus on the future well-being for that family. military families are proud of their service and the retention rates show. people want to stay military. they don't like the separation,
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but military members are doing what they have been trained to do in many parts of the world to help others. you know, i think the relief efforts in japan are the latest example of how our service members are, you know, trained on the ground to help others. military families are proud of that. but i think we have to continue those of us who care about military families have to continue to make sure that the pay and the benefit and the support services that were good for your family, given the times you were going through, are what today's military families need. so thank you for your service and thank you for -- to your wife for all of the support she gave to you and this country by supporting your service. host: militaryfamily.org is the website. for those that didn't get through this morning and want to
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reach you what is the best way to reach you? guest: through the website. host: go ahead, terry. caller: i'm a disabled vietnam veteran. i was at walter reed for a year and a half. i have a son there now for a patient. i recently went up to visit him. i feel that he's getting the best care of anyplace in the world. the army is treating him extremely well. he's national guards from florida. the only problem is sometimes the national guard is treated as stepchildren from the regular army. there are differences they have that they need to work on, but all in all, i think my son is receiving excellent care. they do absolutely wonderful things through the wounded warrior program in washington. my son's two daughters and his wife have been flown up there to stay with him for a week. they plan all kinds of things
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for the soldiers when we were there. they did that for us in vietnam, but not quite as much. doing so much wonderful things at walter reed right now for our soldiers, i'm so happy about the way the boys are being done today over the way they were in the past. host: are you still with us? before we get a response from joyce raezer, how was your son injured and what is he being treated for at the moment? caller: they had an operation in kuwait. they made a mistake, messed up. his incestins are messed up -- intestines are messed up right now. host: thank you for the call. guest: that is the challenge. we want to keep the quality health care available for the wounded, ill, injured service members and their families. that is why we need to fight for adequate funding for the military health system.
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that is why we need civilian providers. we need to make sure when your son comes home to florida and maybe has to get some of his care through the v.a. or through a civilian provider, that they're going to work with d.o.d., work with your family to give him the best care possible. it really does take all the medical resources in this country to help military families because military families are everywhere. host: kelly is joining us on the military family line from alabama. good morning. caller: good morning. i have three points to make. i have three daughters, there is three times, senior high school years. they all moved their senior year. my youngest daughter that is a senior, we tried use the national compact for military children -- i might be saying that incorrectly. you know what i am talking
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about? guest: i do. caller: well, i feel like the state of alabama even though they participate at face value they don't really -- we had to fight for her to take state testing. she had just taken the same basic test in louisiana. being from alabama, i don't think the standards are that different. so, you know, a senior year is stressful and taking tests that she took the same thing. they wouldn't abide by what the results were there. she had the a.c.t. which she had a great score on that. it is almost like, it was a slap in the face and they thought we were trying to get out of something. that wasn't the issue. she just had the tests. another question i have, she's been accepted into george washington university but we will use the yellow ribbon program. we can't find out until may if she will even get accepted with the g.i. bill, you know with the yellow ribbon program. you know, that puts us in a
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predicament, because other challenges she has to give them a letter of intent may 1st. what do we do? host: thank you, kelly. we have about a minute left. guest: i hope the university will work with you. everybody is learning the details with the g.i. bill. there have been issues that have come up in terms of the extra funding, the private universities are providing. so i think continue to work with that school and say, look, you know, we will know when you know and that is an issue we are hearing from other folks. i think the feedback on the interstate compact for educational opportunity for military children is valuable for us. we do advise that compact commission and bring input we hear from military families to them. i think part of the issue is the compact is very new so there is an intent on the state level to help military families but
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sometimes that hasn't filtered down to the local school districts. so we are working in that education effort to try to get more information out to the local school districts so that they do what their state has said they will do >> tomorrow on a " washington journal die is a political roundtable on the budget and deficit debates in congress and campaign strategies for 2012. kurt volker examines the new alliance in libya. and dennis couchon talks about the 2010 census figures.
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the future of job creation. live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c- span. >> next, a ceremony honoring former senator bob dole. after that, first lady michelle obama and jill biden. then another chance to see a discussion on military family support programs. on tuesday, bob dole was honored for his role in creating a war memorial on the national mall. it was attended by a tom brokaw. this is one hour and 15 minutes. >> senator dole, and senator elizabeth dole -- it is an honor to see you here today.
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i am peggy o'dell, and it is my pleasure to welcome you here today. the national park service has been entrusted with the care of the memorial that commemorates the service of 160 members of our armed forces and the ultimate sacrifice of 405399 americans during world war ii. thank you for joining us to honor one of those warriors, one of our nation's true patriots, a citizen, a soldier, and a statesman who served this nation
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honorably and well for many years. senator bob dole. [applause] to begin our ceremony today, i would like you to stand again for the presentation of our callers and remain standing for the u.s. army band. >> forward, march.
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[unintelligible] halt. ♪ ["star spangled banner" playing]
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>> forward, march. >> thank you. please be seated. is my pleasure to introduce the master of ceremonies, reprise think the role he served when the memorial was dedicated in 2004. he is an award winning journalist and author whose
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books have helped shine light on the contributions of this generation. please welcome mr. tom brokaw. [applause] >> thank you very much. i must tell you, it is so gratifying to be at an event that is a unifying moment in our lives. [laughter] there are no red blue states year. we all belong to what i call the army of american citizens. i say that they are the greatest generation. people have challenged me, and i say it is my story and i am sticking to it. [laughter]
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we are here to honor a man who has spent his entire life to given -- spent his entire life giving back to this country. my friend bob dole. when i got the plane in new york, it was raining very heavily. the driver said to me, what are you going to do? it is going to be an enormous storm. i said, do not worry. the weather will not dare rain on bob dole's parade. [laughter] it is a time in american life where we were one as a clenched fist. where we were witness to a generation whose early lives were formed not by a great recession, but a great depression. but mostly, it was a common
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cause. just when they were beginning to emerge from the great depression they went thousands of miles across the atlantic and this -- and pacific. they did that without hesitation. people went with less. factories worked overtime. we give up on civilian vehicles so we could turn out new weapons and armaments. there was nothing left at the end of the war. it would've been easy for the veterans to come home and say, i have done my share. but they did not. they did not put down their weapons and say it is up to someone else now.
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they stepped forward every waking moment of their lives. and no one reps -- represents that better than bob dole. [applause] now it is my pleasure to introduce a man with whom i have had conversations about the complete participation in the second world war. a couple years ago, there were documentary's done that did not acknowledge as completely as they might have the role of latinos and hispanics in world war ii, and when i was speaking with then-senator salazar about that, he said, mr. brokaw, you have to understand. my family has been here since the 1600's and i go to the seminary -- the cemetery to see
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the names of the men who served their country in world war ii, and today, i looked in the newspaper at the people we lost this past week in afghanistan. once again, it was a latino marine who was killed, whose home was in puerto rico. we have been engaged in two of the longest word in american history. i am very pleased to introduce to you, and man who was always been enlisted in the service of this country as a citizen and public servant, the secretariat of the interior, our host today, ken salazar. [applause] >> thank you very much, tom, for that wonderful introduction.
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on behalf of president barack obama and vice-president joe biden, i want to welcome you all here at the national mall as we honor senator bob dole for his historic service to our nation. i welcome all of you as distinguished guests who have come here to honor senator dole, including current and former members of the cabinet, former members of the united states senate, and the united states house of representatives. all of you have been very much part of the wind beneath the wings of bob dole. it is an honor to see so many of you here with the vice president today and senator dole. here and in the small, american history is etched in stone -- here in this small, american history is etched in stone.
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here in what we call the front yards of america. it is fitting we're joined by world war ii veterans, public servants who have dedicated their lives to our nation. senator dole was a statesman, a hero. he is a hero. he is an unwavering advocate for the men and women in our military. it is because of the secular leadership that this world war ii memorial stands here today. my mentor asked that i helped create this recognition for senator dole today. he told me as secretary of the interior, i was the custodian of
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this nation's rich history and my job was to recognize bob dole for his work here. thank you. in that effort, those of us who were home sick will often go to the floor. say, you of that to get this thing done for bob dole. thank you, pat roberts, for all your great work as well. [applause] i do not know if anyone can say this more eloquently than tom brokaw, up for honoring senator dole. for honoring senator dole today,
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we honor all members of that generation, people like my father and my mother. people like my uncle leandro who served on the soils of italy. and as we honor them, we honor all of the 15 million men and women who on to the call to service in world war ii. millions more supported the war effort back home. we remember and honor all of them here today. we cherish their legacy, and we thank one of their greatest heroes, bob dole, for what he has done. welcome, everyone. [applause] >> when i began to write "the
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greatest generation." i need to be thought of two names. senator bob dole, and senator dan in a way -- inoue. as you know, senator dole came back gravely wounded from the italian campaign. he was in the hospital next to a japanese-american citizen from hawaii. in the first bed was a man from michigan, from detroit, from a family of wealth and political influence. and these three veterans would talk late into the night about what they're going to do next. and they decided at the conclusion of their stay as they returned to their home states that they would devote much of their lives to public service. it was bob dole d, dan, and the
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late phil hart. i thought this experience really synthesize why we pay tribute to this generation. ladies and gentlemen, senator dan inoue. >> mr. vice president. elizabeth and bob dole, and my fellow veterans -- ladies and gentleman. 66 years ago on april 14 1945, a
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young platoon leader was leading his platoon over hundreds of mountaintops and suddenly, and that mountaintop became a major target of the broad. the platoon leader was just filled with shrapnel, and then he lost his arm. but he kept on fighting. and he is still keeping up that fight, and that is bob dole. [applause] a week later, a mile away, i got my bullet. we ended up in battle creek, mich., in a hospital.
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when i asked bob, but " what are your plans?" without hesitation, he said the first opening in the state legislature, that is where i am going. so, i said, that is a good idea. [laughter] i will try the same. i looked around. bob, i'm here. where are you? [laughter] i have been fortunate. he has been my body. he never gives up. he was a tiger. the physicians wanted to cut his arm off because it was useless, but he made it a point.
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he said, i came here with two arms, two legs, the hot nostrils, two eyes, and i am leaving the same way. a few moments ago, this fellow is going to outlive this because he is at -- well, i will not use that word. [laughter] and he persistently never gives up. this monument to see before you would not be here if it were not for bob dole, believe me. there are hundreds of different groups having their own ideas of what could be done here. there are hundreds of people who go to court fighting it. one man got all of us together, all the disparate groups, got the money raised, and here we have it.
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bonds and although we should not be -- and although we should not be recognizing at, i felt without one man, we would not have it. so i persisted with pat roberts to have bob dole recognized for his work here. i am proud to be here today to do exactly that. thank you very much. [applause] >> although senator roberts and i of kansas have not talked about this, i think i can correctly guessed we have shared experiences and that we were born before the war broke out. i was born in 1940.
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my entire life has been imprinted by the earliest memories i have of that war. i lived on an army base. everybody was going to war or coming home from work. they were storing ammunition and ordinance there, and i thought that war would go on forever. and then, when it ended, gratefully, and we began a new life in this country in the late 1940's, i was surrounded by the greatest generation, who never talked about their experiences. they were my coaches, sunday school teachers, wives of mine -- my most heroic members of our community. and they imparted the values that i hope are still with us today. i am proud to introduce our next
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speaker, the senator from the great state of kansas, senator pat roberts. >> thank you, tom. thank you for that kind introduction and those most poignant remarks. i was thinking about it, listening to the timber of your voice and how your straight on with your message. have you ever thought of a career in broadcasting? [laughter] i would point out that i was born in 1936. it was not classified until you just let that out. [laughter] bob, we've not had some much fun since we were campaigning in
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russell of the dairy queen. bob, elizabeth, distinguished guests, it is an honor and privilege for me to represent bob dole's home state of kansas as we dedicate a most fitting black to recognizing bob's tireless, tireless support -- most fitting plaque to recognize in bob's tireless, tireless support. the memorial would not be here without senator bob dole. i was given three minutes. i wonder about that with the vice president, but at any rate -- [laughter] he was practicing his speech when we came in. three minutes and no ribald humor. my lawyers summed up bob's legislative record.
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it is like trying to discuss history since 1865 ion 3 minutes. to be honored and -- to be honest and accurate, he did so much more as senate leader and give others the credit for it. most here know or have a friend in hospice care. bob dole -- a hospice care act, 1981. they all know. every farmer in kansas and it in america knows. bob dole brought the montgomery farm bill the broad emergency relief, conservation, rural development. social security reform. 1983. yes, it can be done. millions of disabled americans have a safer and a richer life with the americans with disabilities act of 19 north --
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1990. 1983 -- martin luther king holiday bill. what jumps started the multibillion-dollar industry in the united states? a little-known act of 1980. these kids are facing on attrition and hundred today. the telecom bill -- 1995. actually, it is more like 1986. stalwart security for our troops every year. the truth is that his fingerprints have been on almost every piece of legislation prior to and during his years of
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leadership -- giving his support, changing it for the better, or giving it a proper burial. the man was and is amazing. his record of public service, the wounded warriors programs -- all of it. the memorial has become a wonderfully unique place, and that the, not expected or predicted. people now come by the thousands here. somewhat pretty slow. some, and not at all. they come to recall tears, tells stories, laugh, and meet their brothers in a once in a lifetime remembrancer. it touches your heart. i know. i have taken part in these reunions.
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i try to go to be iwo jima memorial. it is a marine thing. collections are now being recorded for high-school students for generations to come. thattoday's tom brokaws they would sure like to see more of us working together in washington and get the job done. well, you have shown that that can be done. we all come to washington to make the difference. and with this memorial, so much more. thank you. >> thank you very much for those
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appropriate remarks. as you were reciting that extraordinary list initiated by senator bob dole, somehow -- ofl o'reilly. managed to do that without the help of rachel maddow or bill [laughter] someone else who has served her country in many capacities is with us today as well. you know her as the two term secretary of health and human services, now the president of the university of miami. i have been impressed by a little known fact of her early life. it probably prepared her for the rigors of washington. donna shalala played on a girls' softball team managed by george steinbrenner. [applause] >> thank you. managed by
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>> -- if that doesn't prepare you for life, nothing well -- nothing will. >> thank you. i was taller before i came to washington. let me start by acknowledging my co-conspirator, bob dole's chief of staff. it was a great honor to work with senator dole to help america's wounded warriors. to understand bob dole, you need to walk through veterans hospitals and military hospitals and stand outside this memorial as he takes people on tours. you need to know how he touched so many americans and how he kept his commitment. here is the leader of intelligence, decency, and courage. every generation of my family
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has served in america's military. my earliest memories were the two gold stars in the window of my grandmother's house. they remained there until she died 30 years after the end of world war ii. my grandmother wanted everyone to know and remember the old and the sacrifice of her father, of her two sons, edward and francis. what is remarkable about my friend senator dole is not that he never forgot the sacrifice of his generation but that he never let us forget the sacrifices of later generations. he spent his career working to define the role of government to make every succeeding generation the greatest generation. he believes in the kind of politics "where conviction coexist with civility and the clash of ideas is never confused with holy war."
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we honor the son of kansas today because he did not move on. he did not forget the men and women who served and sacrificed as he continued to serve and sacrifice. for all of that and more, he will always be my leader. thank you, senator dole. [applause] >> continuing in a bipartisan spirit, another man who has given so much of his life to public service lives next door in the state of idaho. that is former secretary of the interior, former senator from the state of idaho, the honorable dirk kempthorne. [applause]
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>> tom brokaw, think you for all that you do. -- thank-you for all you do. my dear and honored friends and all citizens of this great republic, this is a magnificent memorial dedicated to those who sacrificed so that we would be the republic that we are today. it seems so right and appropriate that this great memorial be here. but great things do not just happen. great people make them happen. bob dole made this happen. recently i spoke to two former united states senators that i have the honor of serving with, senator john warner and senator steve symms. they told me about a trip to
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with bob dole to the mountains of italy in more than four decades after the battle raged there. the citizens of the community young and old flooded into the streets from their homes, businesses, and schools, too enthusiastically agreed, affectionately embrace a returning hero -- bob dole. of showed his fellow senators the rock wall where he fought, was ultimately wounded, where an attic and fellow soldiers saved his life, that day on april 14, 1945, a life that came dangerously close to being lost because of his sacrifice for freedom. the senator told me it was one of the most vivid and emotional
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events of their lives, one they will never forget, nor will america ever forget bob dole. at arlington cemetery in the amphitheater, just three or four years ago, some five dozen people -- some 5000 people gathered. this included veterans, families, and fellow citizens. members of the cabinet were seated waiting for the president of the united states, george w. bush, to be assured in -- ushered in. unannounced, bob dole quietly entered the amphitheater and move to his seat. one by one, as assistants saw bob dole, they began to applaud.
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the applause grew to a universal standing and the sustained ovation. you see, america recognizes heroes. america respects a hero. america reveres a hero. so, it is altogether fitting that today we recognize and respect and revere and american hero who is also the hero of this monument being built. his name will be permanently etched into this magnificent monument and will be permanently etched into the hearts of his fellow patriots, because that is where he rose reside. god bless you, bob dole, for all that you have done for freedom
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and for the united states of america. [applause] >> nothing stops bob dole, and nothing stops the celebration. so, this tent is here to protect all of you. this event would not have been possible if it had not been for carol cunningham and the national park service and the leadership of peggy o'dell. give them all around of applause. thank you. i would like to call senator roberts and senator inouye to
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join the vice-president to my right. and he will help with the unveiling here. it makes more sense. all of you cannot see this because we had to put this together from 7:00 to this morning. otherwise it would have been lifted up in a place that was very high and we could invite you to come and see the plaque. the plaque is a dedication and recognition of senator dole and his efforts. august, we are standing here on very hallowed -- obviously, we're standing here on very hologram for our nation. we are at the east of our
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nation's capitol. if you look behind us to the west, you will see lincoln memorial. if you look to the south, right from where you see the jefferson memorial. if you look to the north, you will see the white house. so, this plaque will put bob dole in the right place in history. he will live forever. he has a long life ahead of him. this plaque is very important to all of us to work on this. with that, i would like to introduce the vice-president, joined by senator roberts and senator inouye. come up here. danny, i think this thing comes off. put your hand on it. [unintelligible]
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[applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, we put this event together. that is the plaque over there. the vice-president is always at his best, and we missed our cues
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year. thank you for pointing us to the rights plaque that we have been billed for senator lott -- senator bob dole. people who served in the world war ii generation, we're so inspired that we have a vice president who has lived the life of sacrifice and courage. in his own life, he has overcome by huge obstacle the very few people in this country have overcome, and yet he never let those obstacles it in any way of serving the people of the united states as a senator for several decades in the u.s. senate. now ladies and gentlemen, we're honored to have vice president of the united states and his wife, joe biden. [applause]
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>> thank you very much. thank you very much. mr. secretary, thank you. i noticed that when you said we missed the senate floor, everybody grimaced. we happen to miss the senate -- the senate floor. i remember when my colleagues and i were serving on the floor. pat, when i could see pat's face -- when the secretary was saying biden overcame obstacles, his face was saying, yes, being biden was an obstacle. [laughter] i also want to say hello to donna who has served this country with great distinction.
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it is an honor to be here today , with the gunmen in particular -- bob dole and dan inouye. i learned so much over the 30 years or more i served with them. but bob would suggest i have not learned enough. but i am trying bob. [laughter] we all know the phrase from that inaugural race -- inaugural speech. the torch has been passed to a new generation, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of human-rights for which this nation has always been committed. we have heard those words hundreds and hundreds of times since 1961 on that inaugural
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address. during his inaugural address, president kennedy was not only describing himself, but he was describing bob dole. and others of you in this room who were so instrumental in shaping a generation that, because of the great book written by tom brokaw, are now referred to as "the greatest generation." and i believe bob dole is one of the greatest of that generation. not only was bob able to get this memorial built, but this plaque is testament to all that bob and his generation accomplished -- defeating tyranny abroad, securing us at home.
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it was matched by his moral courage as a political leader. but bob's courage on the battlefield is no different than his courage in the legislative arena. i was kidding when bob -- i was kidding, bob, when pat listed your accomplishments. you should never, never let anything stand in your way. bob spent his entire career guaranteeing his fellow veterans were accorded respect and i would add the word dignity.
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dignity that they had earned. not deserved. they had earned. 30-some i'm -- in my years was all about serving the other man ori learned about him- year-old kid in had to wait to be sworn in. i learned that although we had multiple obligations to the nation, we have only one truly sacred obligation. numerous obligations but one sacred obligation. it is to prepare those who we send into harm's way and care for them and their families when they return. it is the premier obligation, the first among our nation's obligations.
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what is a gentleman, -- ladies and gentlemen, no one has been more committed to fulfilling that obligation then bob dole, no one in the 38 years i have served in this town has been more committed. it seems to me it is appropriate that the plaque bear bob's name for all of history to remember because of his life and his service, what he represented to for an entire generation, not merely to be brave but also to be noble. not just brave, but also noble. long after wars come to an end, long after their welcome home parade seven did, long after the streets are renamed and the monuments are built, our nation's obligations to those who sacrificed so much will in your, must endure, and must be
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recognized by all americans. and i am absolutely confident that bob's feats and his generations feats will endure. because they are all about what all that generation stood for. every time we reach out to save the mother and child on the mountains of sarajevo, avoiding the bloody hand of a bloody butcher is like milosevich, everyone -- everytime a a young woman can go from a modest background and receive an education at one of our great institutions, every time of veteran heads to a va hospital in gets the care that they deserve, every time that happens, we will remember bob
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dole. bob, my generation in every generation from this point on owes you and your generation a debt of gratitude, what they can never be perfect -- repaid. i remember it being with bob on the 50th anniversary of d-day along with others in this room. i'm remember among the various things about going all the way to normandy, i remember that day standing at that service, and after the speeches were finished, looking out at literally hundreds upon hundreds of world war ii veterans walking along the beach, not saying a single word. not a single word. i remember going up to the cemetery overlooking the ocean, and it is so perfectly
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manicured. i remember kneeling down in front of a small headstone, and there were three names. three names in a row, the same last name. of all other and two sons. as i was squatting down liggett at it, i could hear a man that sound like my father say, ten hut! it was a man in a wheelchair being wheeled across the grass by his three sons and his wife. it looked like hoss cartwright, big boys. and i walked up and said, thank you, thank you, we owe you so very much. and he saluted me. and i saluted him back and i said i should be saluting you. and he said, no, and he had in his wife's hand, salute mary.
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mary is the reason that we won. mary was building those landing crafts, getting us ready for d- day. he said mary. mary. talk about an effort. everyone was then, all were and. i remember coming back on the floor and bob will remember this, you, howell heflin, john chafee, and others began morning business to reminisce. i stood up and i said something which unfortunately i say things that i believe and sometimes i should not say then. i stood up and i said, what an honor was to be with you all but i envy you. i envy you. my generation, i was 4-f, i did
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not serve in the vietnam a generation. you were standing there on that beach head, as daunting an awesome as the task was, not a single man or woman got off that landing craft without knowing why they were there. the certitude, the absolute conviction that you knew what you were doing would determine the fate of your wife and your children and your parents, an entire generation. that's certitude has been lacking in some many of our encounters since then. this generation is amazing. amazing what they have done. i conclude by saying the reason i love bob dole is bob dole understands there is still a generation making the same sacrifices. only this time, only 1% of the entire population is making the
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sacrifice. over 1 million men and women, tens of thousands killed, wars that lasted longer than any war in american history, deployments, 1, 2, 3, 5, seven times. bob dole when i went to visit him in the hospital was out there walter reed talking about those kids. telling me they are the greatest warriors that this nation has ever produced. this is a man who knows who he is. this is a man who knows what his generation did. this is a man with as much faith in this generation of young americans as any man or woman alive. for that and so much more, we owe him. bob, god bless you, man. and may god protect our troops. [applause]
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>> it goes without saying that when you're in washington or anywhere in this country and you say bob dole, you know that he has been a distinguished public servant who has served in the highest echelons in government service and the nonprofit as well as serving in the congress of the united states.
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ladies and gentlemen, the woman who knows more about bob dole then the rest of us all do, and we would hear some of that probably today, elizabeth dole. [applause] >> mr. vice president, you and ms. is by then certainly onerous today with your presence. your participation makes this wonderful morning even more special and memorable. we deeply appreciate the commitment to americans veterans that you have exhibited throughout your remarkable public service career. and mrs. biden, we're grateful you think -- that you and your first lady are doing such good work for our military families. thank you so much.
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[applause] our thanks to you, tom brokaw, what a marvelous job you do as the master of ceremonies. and for all you have done to sign a light on the courage and character and contribution of those you have so aptly named the greatest generation. secretary salazar, secretary kempthorne, secretary shalala, secretary in no way, --senate term inouye and others, thank you for making this day possible. god bless each of you for what you have done. ladies and gentlemen, when secretary salazar ask me to introduce bob dole, i was tempted to talk about his many accomplishments in each of his remarkable qualities. and what i am resisting that temptation for two reasons. first, such an endeavor would keep us here until sunset. and second, if i did so, i would
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only be repeating what you already know. you know the remarkable courage bob exhibited when he wore the uniform of our country and the courage he has shown every day since his life was changed in the hills of italy on april 14, 1945. 66 years ago this thursday. you know that america's veterans could not have asked for more committed or more effective advocate. you know that they plaque dedicating this morning is richly deserved because is more moral would not be a reality without bob's leadership. you know the esteem in which he was held by congressional colleagues on both sides of the aisle and that he was elected six times by the senate republicans to serve as their leader. and that time after time, said its employees, elevator operators, cafeteria workers, capitol police, voted bob dole
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the nicest center. you know that his fingerprints can be found on almost every major piece of legislation passed during his years on capitol hill. you know he has shown that strong leaders not only need a good backbone, they need a good funny bone. you know that he regards public service as a high and noble calling in that through his life and career he has steadfastly exhibited the qualities of honesty, integrity, modesty, decency, fairness, love of god, and love of country. you know all that. and more. but what you may not know is that the qualities bob dole exhibits in public view are also the qualities he exhibits in his private life. you may not know of the many programs he has established since leaving the senate to help solve the problems of people with disabilities, our senior
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citizens, and those suffering from cancer. indeed no one will ever know for sure how many lives his -- this very private man saved. when he decided to talk publicly about his experience with prostate cancer and the crusade for test. and you may not know how many veterans with disabilities, young and old, this very private man inspired when he shared the impact of his war experiences, finally shared those in his book, "one soldier's story." you may not know the number of friends in need and strangers who are hurting to whom he has given generously and anonymously. the trust that he set up for his nieces and nephews and even their babies, and you may not know about the countless letters and phone calls he has responded to from family members of the veterans asking him to write or call 0 of 1 in need of
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encouragement, for the fact that for decades he has quietly visited patients in veterans hospitals and veterans' homes all across america. you may not know that the hundreds of times he has welcomed right here at the memorial his fellow world war ii veterans traveled and the hours he spent with them sharing his story and tears. you may not know that during the recent bout of medical challenges that would have defeated those half his age, he persevered without a moment of self pity and without complaint. just as he did when he returned home severely wounded after the war. indeed, whenever he could during his hospitalization, he would spend time talking with one did warriors from iraq and afghanistan. i think these heroes -- that is just what they were -- inspired each other. you may not know that 15 years
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after he left the senate, he still spends his days thinking of ways and encouraging for our law makers to make america better. and you may not know just how much bob dole means to me. so what do you say when you introduce the man who for 35 years has been your precious husband, your best friend, and your own personal rock of gibraltar? you say, i love you, i admire you, and i thank god every day for bringing you into my life. but it is and gentlemen, my husband, bob dole.
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>> thank you, thank you. [applause] [inaudible] my eyes were all right when i came. [laughter] well, i am very honored to be here. i am speaking for all veterans, not -- when i speak about a plaque in what it means to me, i share that view i think with
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mick -- millions of americans, millions of veterans, and i want to think elizabeth for saying such nice things about me after 35 years. but even more for believing them. [laughter] [applause] so -- but let me -- what i would like to do as i look around the audience, they are not many people that i do not know in this room. i picked up ed ham and the yester day -- ed hammond yesterday. i am glad you're here. there are no refunds. [laughter] i would just say a special word of gratitude to tom brokaw.
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when i called his office, his secretary said -- i think you're overseas somewhere, saudi arabia or some foreign place. i did not expect tom brokaw the say yes. well i did think that he might because we are good friends. within three or four days, i had a positive answer which made me feel like this event was going to be a great success. because when tom brokaw is the nc, i know that half of you are here to see dan inouye and the other half is here to tom brokaw. he has done as much to tell the story of our generation is anybody i know. i doubt the memorial would of been here without tom brokaw's influence in making world war ii
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veterans realize that they did provide a great service and they did make sacrifices and they brought everybody together. and i want to thank fred smith of headaches, mike co-chair, who cannot be with us today, but without whose credit -- incredible dedication and generosity this memorial would not be finished. it would be started but not finished. i want to think can salazar and pat roberts and mr. kempthorne and others who joined forces with senator inouye to make this possible. there were others who participated, but i was at walter reed for 11 months last year, and i missed all of the action. about who was working on this. if i missed anybody, i apologize.
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i want to recognize of more recent colleague and secretary shalala, and the distinguished public servient with a passionae commitment to american veterans. we cut. a commission on veterans' care. i cannot tell you -- cannot tell all of you what a worker that she is an house committed she is, and there is never a dull moment when you work with donna shalala. when you work for donna shalala. [laughter] i got that wrong. [laughter] but i want to most of all think the citizen soldiers, the foreman city boys and factory workers and recent immigrants, as the verses america itself, for all that you did to preserve civilization when it was most endangered. in my lifetime i have seen walls
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go up and walls come down. i have seen planes flown in the buildings and organized hatred confuse murder with martyrdom. but that is not all that i have witnessed. four-the generation that banished polio and jim crow, invented the computer, and left footprints on the surface of the moon. i want to describe myself -- this is the '96, i should have forgotten man. [laughter] i describe myself as the most optimistic man in america. and how could you live through what i had in be anything else? 66 years have passed since another april 12, when franklin roosevelt possible rate heart gave out at the little white house in warm springs, georgia. that morning he put the finishing touches on the jefferson days speech to be delivered two days later.
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and it said, more than an end to war, he wrote, we won an end to the beginning of all wars, yes, and into the brutal in human and called police in practical method of ship settling differences between governments. and from this might appear a visionary, but not to the leader whose last words were properly words of encouragement. the only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be hard doubts of today. and let us move forward with strong and active faith. like president roosevelt, we can all pray for a world without war. monuments -- no monument in the meantime, and we can think god for those qualities of courage in character, service and sacrifice that protect our
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freedoms and dispel our doubts. let others imagine the worst and i am still the most optimistic man in america. thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you, senator dole. there's not much more that can be said, obviously. one more personal reflection, if you will. when senator dole began the campaign to raise the money for the memorial, he said that he knew -- he could use some help. we began to talk about who he goes a. he went to go see a very wealthy hollywood mogul who have a lot more money than he deserved, quite honestly. bob asked for his help. and the hollywood mogul has only a hollywood mogul could turn down said that he had other priorities. and bob said to him, when i was 22, i had other priorities but i
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went to war. [applause] i just as the vice president whether mrs. biden is still here. she had to go back to the white house for a ceremony that will take place shortly. and it is a national campaign to help military families of those in uniform now. i think that might be the appropriate note on which to end. as we gather here to remember the greatest generation and all the sacrifices that they made on behalf of all of us, and realize how we are the beneficiaries, there are young and -- young men and women in uniform at this hour walking and loading weapons and going out on missions in afghanistan and iraq. i just that -- they just got back from our rock and we have people there in harm's way. there are families here in now
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in contrast to world war ii in which we were all aware of the war under way and making sacrifices and contributions. these families now, too many of them still that they are living in their own kind of wars up. a minneapolis mother said to me, you know that you're the mother of a serviceman in our rock when you go home and pull the blinds across the front windows so you do not see the military vehicle with the chaplain arriving in the driveway. i hope that we would pay honor to bob dole especially in the memories of that generation and remember as well that we have another great generation serving all of us right now in harm's way in distant lands. ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce to you, the rev. barry bayh, the united states senate chaplain who will offer the benediction.
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>> let us pray. gracious god, you have blessed us beyond our deserving. making our nation a land of liberty, you are the giver of every good and perfect gift. lord, we thank you for the explicit gift of bob dole. for his patriotism, passion, optimism, and perseverance. helpless to learn -- help us to learn from this noble life, to #our days so that we may are parts of wisdom, for a find you with integrity -- glorifying you
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with integrity. give us the grace to think not of what we can get but of what purposeive th, with a new that will please you. last senator dole and his beloved elizabeth and all of their tomorrows, sustaining them with your presence in their going out and coming in, their rising up and lying down, their moments of pleasure and sorrow, their labor and leisure, until they cross the bar and there they will see you, their pilots, face-to-face and hear from your lips the precious word, well
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done, good and faithful servants, you have been faithful over a few things. i will make you ruler over many things. enter now into the choice of your lords. we pray this prayer in the name of him who has been our help in ages past and our hope for years to come. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. that includes the ceremony. -- that concludes the ceremony. ♪
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["bob bless america and" bless america" playing] >> next, all white house initiative supporting service members and their families. then a discussion about the support programs for military families. then a hearing on crime victims. california congressman but mckeon, chairman of the house on his committee discusses the military budget, costing growth -- growth in cost for the joint strike fighter, impending changes in defense department leadership, and the national security team. sunday at 10:00 a.m. on c-span. >> york trading the people you cannot live without to live without you.
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>> that college admissions process, college ranking, financial aid forms, weekly standard senior editor andrew ferguson was not prepared for this. >> nothing like that happen to me when i was going to look for college in the mid-1970s. so it was starting to dawn on me that this is a different process from what it was. >> find out if he catches up on c-span. you can also download a pot cast, one of our many signature interview programs available online at c-span.org/pub cast. >> president obama and vice- president by then joined the first lady and jill biden for the launch of a national initiative called joining forces. it honors u.s. service members and their families. created by the first lady and mrs. by then, it aims to educate citizens and encourages businesses and communities to support military families. the event took place in the east
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room of the white house and is just under an hour. my son jason deployed to the middle east the following year. just like in many other states across the country, there is a network of national guard spouses in my state who have always supported one another, especially during deployment. but as more and more families face deployment, we want to do more. in 2007, my friend kathy and i formed delaware boots on the ground. a nonprofit organization that supports members of the military, their families, and
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veterans. especially in times of separation or need. with the help and expertise of individuals, local businesses, and committed to groups, we had stuffed christmas stockings, fixed a broken air conditioners, and to run baby showers. whatever needs to be done, we try to find a way to make sure that it happens. during our second year, jill biden became a volunteer for boots on the ground. now four years later, we have assisted hundreds of military families in countless different ways. when delaware boots on the ground was born around the breakfast table, i never imagined i would be at the white house with president obama telling you all about it. i never dreamed our story could capture the interest of the entire nation. we are simply military families
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helping military families. but today, we are telling that story and for the hard work of first lady michelle obama and dr. jill biden, hundreds more stories like ours are being lifted up so that everyone understands just how easy it is to support our military families. and just how much they support means to the military community. i want to thank you both, jill and mrs. obama, for all that you do on behalf of our military families. and now, it is my honor to introduce someone who has always been committed to the military. he has been a regular national guard events for over 30 years, and now visits with members of our military and across the
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country and across the world. today i have the honor as a military spouse and the military mom to introduce my friend, vice president joe biden. [applause] >> welcome to the white house. shirley, you are getting to be an old pro. [laughter] when shirley and jill made their first television appearance awhile ago, i think it was up in philly for the boots on the ground event, mr. secretary, there were both scared to death. now i am scared the followed jill.
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[laughter] ladies and gentlemen, and jill and i just returned from a ceremony that honored bob dole and his heroic service, an unparalleled devotion to supporting veterans in this country. you know, he always knew and taught me what many of us have come to learn -- that we have many obligations in this country, but we have only one truly sacred obligation, and that is to prepare those who we send to war with all that they need, and take care of those who return from war and their families with all they deserve. although bobs generation was known as the greatest generation, this generation of lawyers, as the chairman of the joint chiefs have mollen can tell you, this generation of warriors may be among the most devoted because of a long, long,
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long periods of service that they have had to endure. they have had to endure. they've seen multiple deployments. they have seen and participated in the two wars that have existed in almost a decade. and in the process, we have lost over 5000 -- not over, exactly, as of an hour ago -- 5957 fallen angels. 43,006 have been wounded. and there is still more of a job to be done. there are still more warriors deployed. i do not think there has ever been a time in american history with a generation of military families has had to endure for as long and as much as this generation of american family service people.
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as a said, we have only one truly sacred obligation. ofe poet john milton said jo shirley and all the blue star moms and dads and husbands and wives and grandparents out there, he said, "they also serve who only stand and wait to." and this generation of military families has, as i said earlier, stood and -- stood a long time. some avoided multiple times. i look at the men in uniform, the men the most in my, and i may be mistaken, but i do not think there have been this many times when people had been in battle, one did, seen bloody, bloody conflict, come home for a brief respite, and set back again. it is one thing to go the first time not knowing exactly what horrors of war will be like, but to saddle up and go back again
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and again and again. among multiple flights, mr. secretary, into iraq and afghanistan over 25 times -- last time in, i sat up with the pilots in the c-one thirties' they were coming in. and i said how many tours? of the four in the top -- in the cockpit, only one had only served to. to head serve four, and this was the fifth deployment for the fourth. so this generation that michelle and jill are embarking on bringing the awareness of the rest of the country to, we owe them a lot. the of known the pain and anxiety that comes from one the external and internal bond of family is stretched across oceans and costs of time. oceans and costs of time.
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you know, your child, it is your child when you were there, your child, you miss their first step, the first mile that they smile, the missed birthdays, the anniversary of the were celebrated on skype. we learned all about skype when our son was in iraq for one year. if their support here at home has never wavered, and i would say that they, the families that surely represents and many of you in the audience, they are brave and heroic as their sons and daughters and their husbands and wives that are there, and a truism -- deserve our support. jill and i know what it is like firsthand. our son beau was in on iraq for a year, deployed once. we learned how much it means to those who are in a war zone thousands of miles away, knowing that their family is being cared for, the the next-door neighbor
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has offered to cut their grass while their husbands is overseas, or the next door neighbor will get a jumpstart on the cold morning when you are trying to get your daughter or son to elementary school. i know that those little things are the things that make everyday work or not work. it matters. it matters because it is one less thing they have to worry about in theater. and all those of you who have served in the military and overseas, no, i am not exaggerating when i say that. every single warrior i meet in afghanistan or iraq or bosnia, in those days, then kosovo, all they ask about, they asked about what it is like a home. can you give my wife a call? can you pick up the phone and call my pop, let him know it is
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ok? all americans should know that one act of kindness extended to the family of a soldier, a sale, a marine, a coast guardsman, reverberates across water, over the mountains, and through the desert into the hearts of the warrior who is standing there alone, thinking as much about his family as his family is thinking about him or her. i promise you, i promise you, all of those of you listening on the television or radio, it matters. it matters. jill always. so that only 1% of our nation is serving, over 1 million young men and women, and not so again. four or five times ago i was interrupted one of the old palaces, and we were having one of those impromptu meetings you have, mr. secretary, where one soldier gather around you, then 5, and then attend. and the next thing you know you are standing on a chair.
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and i said, you are a great young of -- a great bunch of young guys. m one guy in the back hills senator, john jones, saudi here last time, 61 years old. only 1% of the families had served in those wars. the 100% of american families have an obligation to commit to the 1% and to show one selective kind as to a deployed veterans family. -- one single act of kindness to the deployed veteran's family. helping to muster the strength and to remind the neighbors that everyone in america has a duty to fill the sacred obligation i mentioned, she knows how important it is for our troops and for their families.
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she knows also that how far it just a little bit of support can go. my wife who i am about to introduce feels it in her bones. it has become part of who she is. that blue star is indelibly branded on her heart. and it has come in our family and among our friends haas shirley will tell you to define her in a sense. ladies and gentlemen, i am honored to present you the second lady of the united states, a blue star mom, my wife, jill biden. >> good morning. i and jill biden and i am a proud military mom. as my husband said, we are honored to have you all here at the white house today as we express the gratitude of our entire nation to those who
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served in our military into their amazing family. your all heroes from the moms and dads who keep your family together why your loved ones are serving overseas to the grandparents who stepped in with much needed support, to the children who are strong and brave while mom and dad are ready. -- are away. you go about your business everyday, lifting of your communities, volunteering that your schools, lending and your neighbors, and you do it all while carrying a heavy burden than most people imagine. you are truly remarkable. as joe said, we have been a national guard family for the last 10 years. 2 1/2 years ago, i stood in dover, delaware, watching as our
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sun go prepared to deploy to arrive. i remember it like it was yesterday. like other military families i felt an intense mixture of pride in concern, and i can honestly say that not a day passed during his year away when i did not worry about his safety. during the deployment ceremony, a friend slipped to prayer into my hands. it brought me comfort and i have shared it with many other since then. the prayer asks for courage and strength for each soldier to do their duty when they risk their lives to protect our freedom, and expresses thanks for the sacrifice of these men and women and their families. that prayer has been a huge source of comfort to me, especially in the year that
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beau was deployed. i could be anywhere in the course of my day, riding on the chalkboard in my classroom or preparing a meal, and i could just thought, close my eyes, and say that quick prayer for him and all others serving in harm's way. now what i tend to plan and ceremonies, i pass on this prayer to the moms and families i meet in the hopes that the comforts them as it did me. i have had the opportunity of the last few years to attend several of the deployment and return ceremonies. i have seen the pride, the trepidation, the relief, and the pure joy. i've spent time with spouses and children, grandparents and friends, but somehow it is always the mothers to seek me out. they know that i understand their experience. and because i do, i offer them my thanks, my prayers, and a
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warm embrace. michelle and i have met so many amazing families in the past few years. just last month, i attended a deployment ceremony were met some folks i now call the grandparents. both parents of three children under the age of 10 were deploying, and these grandparents decided to circle the wagons and take care of the children together. the grandmothers janice and allen are here today. rabbi charles is home babysitting. -- grandpa charleses home babysitting. i want to thank your entire family for their service. think about these women. they are not wearing uniforms. they do not live on the base. but they are serving. they could be neighbors. their grandchildren could be in
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your child's classroom. that could be members of your church or synagogue or customers at a hardware store demands. think about that. now imagine how a community could rally around his family, helping the carpels, sporting events, or school activities. i see through my work with the organization that small community groups can make a huge difference. imagine for a moment not just what the small gestures mean to a family, but what they mean to a soldier thousands of miles away who knows that someone is looking out for the ones he loves back home. there are small and effective groups like this all over the country -- from the barbecue master who travels the state of ohio to cope for military families, to the accountants providing free tax service, to
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the soldiers in minnesota collecting hockey equipment for military kids. these efforts make a difference in the lives of our families. when i was in iraq last year, i heard a story that has stuck with me ever since. an officer told me about a little girl in his daughter's class who broke into tears when she heard the "ave maria"song during a holiday program. the little girl explained that the song had been played at her father's funeral. her father had been killed in iraq. as a teacher, i know that all as a teacher, i know that all teachers would want to understand that little girl's experience. so i shared that story with a group of educators, and i am so pleased to share the good news today that the american association of colleges for
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teacher education has partnered with the military child education coalition to promote training for future teachers. together, they hope to teach 10,000 future educators how best serve their military-connected students across the country. in our travels, michelle and i have seen many teachers who are making a real difference from the military families -- military children in their classrooms. teachers who will wear -- who range parent-teacher conferences by skype so that deployed parents can participate, or teachers to encourage students to take a photo of their deployed parent to their desk so they can look at it whenever they feel the need, or teachers like the one in my granddaughter's classroom who hung a befuddled of my sons deployed units -- who hung up a photo of my son's deployed
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units so that the whole class would know that natalie's that was a war. that total of her data on the wall with the world to natalie, and it meant the world to me and joe, too. these teachers and the other individuals and groups across the countries who are supporting our troops and their families are showing all americans that there are countless ways to help -- some large, and many small, but all important. and i can tell you from personal experience, all appreciate it. we can all join forces. i am thrilled and humble to be here today with a group of people they represent the best of this nation -- individuals and families who embodied the street, the resilience and the patriotism that has shaped the united states of america. joe, myself, or rot, and
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michelle -- barack and michele, we are here today because of you. we are here to celebrate you. you are doing your part, the government is doing its part, and each american has the ability to make a difference in the life of a military family. that is what this initiative is all about. everyone of us can commit to one small act of kindness. and now it is my honor and privilege to introduce a man who is doing his part as a strong leader and constant advocate for our service members, veterans, and military families. he is also the husband of my partner on this effort -- our president and commander-in- chief, barack obama. chief, barack obama.
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>> thank you, thank you everybody. please have a seat. thank you very much. thank you so much. thank you. thank you, everyone. please, please be seated. thank you very much. as you can see, the vice president and i of the war mac facts here today. [laughter] -- are the warm-up acts here today. our role is to introduce our better have is. actually, michelle and jill are far better three-quarters are 4/5. they're basically just all- around better. thank you for your introduction and sharing your personal experiences and stories and being able to describe how much this means to you personally. to the vice-president, the
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entire family, which like so many others has known both of pride but also the worries and fears when a loved one in uniform is serving in harm's way. we're joined today by members of congress, by members of my cabinet, a joint chiefs, by leaders across the administration and just about every sector of american society. but most of all, we are joined by our service members and their families representing the find is military that the world has ever known. -- the finest military that the world's ever known. and while the campaign that brings them together is truly unique, it does reflect the spirit familiar to all of us, the spirit that has defined as as a people and as a nation for more than two centuries. freedom is not free -- simple words that we know are true. for 234 years, our freedom has been paid by the service and
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sacrifice of those who have stepped forward, raise their hands, and said, "send me." they put on a uniform. they swear an oath to protect and defend. and they carry titles that have commanded the respect of generations -- soldiers, chairman, marine, a sailor, coastguardsman. our nation endures because these men and women are willing to defend it with their very lives. and as a nation, it is our solemn duty and our moral obligation to serve these patriots as well as they serve us. but we are here today because this americans in uniform have never served alone. not at lexington, not concord, not in iraq, not in afghanistan. behind every american in uniform stand a wife, a husband, a mom, dad, a son or a daughter, a
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sister or brother. these families, these remarkable families, are the force behind the force. they, too, are there reasons we have got the finest military in the world. whenever i and with our troops overseas, when i asked them what can we do for you, there is one thing they request more than anything else -- take care of my family. take care of my family. because with our troops are worried about their families back home, it is harder for them to focus on the mission overseas. the strength in the readiness of america's military depends on the strength and readiness of our military families. this is a matter of national security. it is not just the right thing to do, it also makes this country stronger. and that is why over the past two years we have made major
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investments to take care of our military families. secretary gates has been one of the leaders in this process -- new housing and child care for families, new schools for military kids, better health care for veterans, new educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of veterans and their family members under the post-9/11 gi bill. and that is why is part of a land mine -- landmark presidential study directed, for the first time ever the well- being of our military families is now a national priority -- not just a defense department priority for a va priority, it is a federal government priority. my administration is working to implement nearly 50 specific commitments to improve the lives of military families, everything from protecting families from financial scams to improving education for military kids and spouses, to stepping up our fight to end homelessness among
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veterans. and as commander in chief, i and as commander in chief, i will not be satisfied until we meet these commitments. across this administration, we will keep doing everything in our power to give our military families the support and respect that they deserve. but as we have said all along, this cannot be the work of government alone. her military and military families cannot be the only ones bearing the burden of our security. the united states of america is the strongest and, as americans, we are at our best. when we remember that the price of freedom cannot simply be paid by a select few. when we embrace our responsibilities to each other, especially those who serve and sacrifice and our name. that is why i think that the work of a shell and have done is so extraordinary.
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michele was meeting with women all across the country, listening to their struggles, hearing their stories. inevitably, there were complaints about hasbeens. -- about husbands. [laughter] not doing enough around the house, confused when you have to brush the daughters here and get that until right. [laughter] -- get that ponytail right. [laughter] but there was one group that captured michele's heart, military spouses. if i was given the opportunity to serve as president and she was given the opportunity to be firstly, she would be their voice. that exactly is what she and jill have done. you see the events around the
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country, on the bases and hospitals of our wounded warriors. what you do not see is when the cameras are off and how michelle and still come back and they are inspired by what they saw -- and jill come back and they are inspired by what they saw to advocate for each and everyone of you. i want you to know that michelle years you, not just as the first lady and a fellow american, but as a wife, a mother, and a mom. and the voice that she promised to be, that is what she has been out there doing, making sure that you get the support and appreciation that you and your families deserve. so it is my honor to introduce to you my extraordinary wife, america's extraordinary first
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lady, michelle obama. [applause] [applause] thank you everyone. it is a throw. it is always nice to be introduced by the president of the united states. [laughter] it is always kind of cool. on behalf of all of us, i want to thank my husband. i want to thank joe -- for their leadership from the top down. their personal commitment to keeping our military families strong is what has allowed us to
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be here. i hope that military families, that this is something that comes from the very top. this is not just about me and jill. we have husbands that care about your families. they care about these issues. and we would not be here today if it were not for their leadership. so here we are. this is the moment that we have been working toward for such a very long time. let me just say that i am thrilled that all of you could be here today as we launched this unprecedented national campaign to honor and support our incredible military families. we are calling it "joining forces" -- pretty good. [laughter] we call it that for a very special reason. this campaign is about all of us, all of us joining together as americans to give back to the veterinary military families who sacrifice so much every day so that we can live in freedom and
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security. joining forces is a challenge to every segment of american society to take action, to make a real commitment to supporting and in keeping these families. i want to thank all of you here because this campaign is the result of everything that so many of you have shared with us and taught us over the past two years. i am especially grateful to my phenomenal partner in this effort, a blue star mom herself, and a tireless chia been of a garden reserve families and interpretation -- and an inspiration to me in this process, my dear friend, dr. jill biden. [applause] [applause] in joining forces is inspired by
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the amazing military spouses and children we have met all across the country, some of some, like shirley, have been able to join us today, families who have told us that, even with the outpouring of support for our troops over the last decade, the truth is that, as a country, we do not always see their families, our heroes on the home front. these families have appealed to us, like the military mom who wrote to me and said, "please, do not let americans for get what we live with -- and not let americans for get or ignore what we live with." countless spouses of all rents, many of my seat sprinkled around, have been terrific advisers to was.
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also, the passionate advocates representing military families who are here, and of course members of congress from both parties -- they are all in support of this. these are all leaders who devoted their lives to serving our troops and their families and who helped to understand where and how it campaign like this can really make a difference. joining forces is built on the work of the president and the vice president and the entire administration, which has made military families a party across the federal government. even as we recognize that this court cannot be done by government alone. i am just excited that, as a result of the work we have done with some many people over the past two years, businesses and organizations across america, including some of the best known names and brands have already responded to this call.
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today, as part of joining forces, they will announce new commitments to support military families and you will all see those incredible commitments as we go forward. but we're tremendously grateful for so many of them stepping up so early. joining forces is rooted in the american values of service and citizenship that have kept our country strong throughout history. in world war ii, for example, the whole nation went to war. it just about every family was a military family or knew someone that was. however, today, with an all volunteer force, fewer americans serve or know someone who does. i like our troops, military families do not wear uniforms so we do not always see them. but like our troops, these families are proud to serve and they do not complain. so, as a result, the rest of us
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do not always realize how hard it can be or what we can do to light in their load. i have to admit that i have not always realized it myself. my father served in the army, but he served before i was born so i did not grow up in a military family. like many americans, i did not see firsthand how much our military families sacrifice as well. that is why we are joining forces. this is about the responsibility that we each have to one another as americans. it is about the fact, as joe said, that 1% of americans may be fighting on our behalf, but 100% of americans need to be supporting our troops and their families. this campaign is about renewing those bonds and those connections between those who serve and the rest of us who live free because of their service. service. so this is a national
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initiative. we will highlight these families that americans and not always see. the first that in taking action is awareness. the truth is that our military families are all around us. we may not know it. we will remind americans that most military families live off-base and thousands of communities across the country. they are our neighbors and co- workers. a military spouse to put a full day at the office and does the parent team of two while their husband and wife -- husband or wife is deployed. there are -- they are our kids classmates and teammates, like the girl in your daughter's class were trying to make new friends and dealing with the pressures of growing up, even as she worries whether dad or mom will come home safe. many of our national guardsmen and reservists and their families do not live anywhere
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near a military base. they are in virtually every community in this country. one day, they are our police officers and foremen and teachers and paramedics and the next day they are deployed to duty in a war zone. almost every community in america has said the service member to iraq or afghanistan and their families, including goldstar families who made the ultimate sacrifice, they live all over america. and there probably is not a town in this country without a veteran. in other words, we want americans to realize that, in a way, every community is a military community. these are the stories that we will tell. these of the stories that we will celebrate. and to help us, we are being joined by some outstanding coach who know something about capturing the public's attention, folks like nascar and
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wal-mart and major league baseball. they will create public service announcements. they will feature the likes of oprah winfrey and steven spielberg and tom hanks. everyone is stepping up. the major deals in entertainment, writers, producers, directors, actors -- they are dedicated to writing more stories of military families in tv shows and movies. we want to make sure that these families are never forgotten. we will focus on the specific things that are fit -- our military families have told us they care most about, things that i think we can all make a unique contribution to, the areas of employment, education, wellness, including mental health. in the area of employment, we will be a champion for our military spouses and veterans as they look for new jobs and advance their careers end we
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will make sure that businesses know how lucky they would be to have these talented spouses and veterans on their team. in the area of education, we will work to have our military children thrive in the classroom, even as they move between schools and deal with parents being deployed. and we will work to make it easier for military spouses to continue their education and get their degrees. in the area of welders, including good mental health, we will remind this nation that, just as our troops deserve the best support when dealing with the structure of war and deployment, so do military spouses and children. they need support as well. the most part of joining forces is how we will get it done. as i said, this is a challenge to every segment of society. our motto is simple.
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everyone can do something. so we are joining forces across the federal government. those nearly 50 commitments that the president mentioned will make such a difference for so many military families. but these can also do something even more important. it will give military families a seat at the table across the federal government. it means that we will all be working together to make sure we are forging new federal partnerships to serve military families for years to come. we will be joining forces with states and cities and local government. we want the whole country to know about states like michigan and cities like pittsburgh and agusta, ga. that encourage folks to volunteer and support our troops and veterans and their families. states can make it so easy for these families. they can make it easy for spouses to get their professional licenses and certification.
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but can also make it easier for military children to transfer between schools. so every state, every city, and every town in this country can do something. we are joining forces with businesses, both large and small, including some of america's biggest employers, which are making new commitments as we speak today, companies like sears, k mart, sam's club, who are telling military spouses who work at their stores that, if the move to a new duty station, they will do their best to have a job waiting for those spouses. siemens is setting aside 10% of their open positions for veterans. the u.s. chamber of commerce is stepping up, and encouraging its millions of members to hire military spouses and veterans, to find mentors for military wives and veterans. and the chamber will hosed job fears across the country for these individuals.
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technology leaders like aol, in the.com will help with hiring. companies like hewlett-packard and microsoft will train military families so they can begin their own bills of businesses. the list goes on and on. we are joining forces with nonprofits whose reach into communities all across the country -- the uso will expand its efforts to help americans support military families right here on the home front. and jill said the military's abolition organization is joining with the national pta and colleges to help educators better serve our military kids. the national math and science initiative will be bringing advanced placement courses to tens of thousands of students, including military kids.
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the sierra club and the ymca are partnering with the national military family association to give 15,000 military kids and families a chance to go to camp this year. the american heart association will help many lead healthier lives. the list goes on and on. everyone is stepping up. every nonprofit can do something. finally, this is about all of us joining forces as americans. and we can do it right where we live and work. as jill said, if you are a parent or teacher, you can encourage your school to find new ways to support our military kids. if you are a lawyer and a counselor, you can offer your services to a military family pro bono. if you're a member of a church or synagogue or mosque, you could urge your committee to reach out to military families
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who are grieving the loss of a loved one. it could be something as simple as mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow for that family down the street, telling that ma more data that you will take the shift at the car pool or lending a hand to that wounded warrior in your neighborhood. you deny even need to know a military family. thank you to great -- you do not even need to know a me military family. every american can write a letter to a military family and let them know that come in their honor, there will be serving and untiring in their own community. it is that easy. -- and volunteering in their own community. it is that easy. sometimes it is the smaller things, the simple gestures, that say thank you, that make the biggest difference in their lives. and if you need ideas, you do
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not have to go far because we are also creating a new web site. joiningforces.gov where families can come together and join efforts in their own communities. every american do something. that includes me and jill. we're not asking anybody to do anything we are not willing to do ourselves. yes, michele and jill on a road trip. [laughter] big michele will drive. [laughter] jill will drive. [laughter] we will be encouraging every american to us is simple question -- how can i give back to these families who have given me so much? that is the question. obviously, i am excited about this campaign and i know jill
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is, too. we know that this is something that we cannot just to do for this year or next year. this is not a short-term effort. our military families deserve our respect and support at every stage of their lives, no matter who is in office. so it is our hope that what we're launching today begins part of the fabric of our country. to make sure that it does, i am proud that one of america's leading nonpartisans institutions focused on national security, the center for new american security, has stepped forward to help coordinating joining forces. it will have an ribeyes record it will have an ribeyes record with americans with wealth of experience to help military families and bring together a common cause. that includes general stan mcchrystal, patty sheehan secchi, both who are here today. we are grateful to you both.
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[applause] good stuff. so jill and i truly believe that, if enough people across this great country realize just how much our military families do for us and if we look in our own lives to see what we can offer, there is absolutely no limit to what we can do together to keep these families and our country strong. if we do this, if we come together, i know that we will come closer to our vision of a nation that truly recognizes and nation that truly recognizes and honors and our military family . it is an america where every soldier, sailor, airman, marine, and coastguardsman and woman can
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deploy in knowing that their family will be taking care of back at home. it is an america where every military spouse has everything they need to keep their family strong and threading. it is an america where every military child has the support they need to grow and learn and realize their dreams. it is an america where our veterans and their families, especially our goldstar families who have sacrificed so much, are honored to the integrity of their lives. in short, we see a nation where more americans across every sector of society are joining forces on behalf -- on behalf of our military families. believe me, this will remain one of my defining missions as first lady. i thank you all for joining us to help make this happen. jill and i hope that this campaign will be worthy of the
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service and sacrifice and strength of every single military family in this country and that it will make a real difference in their lives for years to come. thank you so much. [applause] [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain seated until the official party has departed. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> next, a discussion on support programs for military families. after that, the weekly addresses with president obama and senator tom coburn of oklahoma. then a senate hearing on crime victims. >> this week, potential republican presidential candidate donald trump in boca raton, florida. he speaks at a south florida tax date tea party rally. "road to the white house" sunday at 9:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. nearly 1500 middle school and high-school students submitted documentary's on "washington, d.c. through my eyes." . the students who created them. stream all the winning videos any time online act
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studentcam.org. >> now a discussion on government and some programs created to support military families. this is just over 30 minutes. twitter.com/c-span. "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome joyce raez raezer. guest: thank you. host: what are the major issues military families need? what are the biggest concerns? guest: how to sustain support for families challenged by a decade of war. the needs of the military families have grown. even in support services have grown. the issues they face, the challenges they face are cumulative. research now that says mility families have a harder time the longer that service member has been deployed.
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if we look to the challenges our nation faces our military families face the challenges sustaining family support. not just the government but also from all those citizens and organizations andeople out there that interact with military families on a daily basis. host: we have a line for military families. if you have a spouse that is serving in the military, either here, stateside or overseas and for all others we ask you to call the other number. so specifically, in terms of programs you think need to be addressed, is it financial, support, education, is it medical? guest: it's all of the above. military families interact in the world as civilian families do. if you are a military family today, you're concerned about
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your child's education, you are concerned about access to quality health care. access to quality health care including behavioral health services is more important when you are stressed from many years at war. you are concerned about a career. if you are a military spouse, you want that career because the family needs an income and you feel that you need to satisfy the career goals yourself. it is good housing in a safe neighborhood. recognition from your employees, friends, neighbors that people care about you and understand your sacrifice f our country in addition to your service mber's sacrifice for this country. host: re is how the president addressed this issue yesterday from the east room in the white house. >> part of a landmark presidential study directive. for the first time ever, the well-being of our military families is a national priority. not just a defense or b.a.
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priority. it is a federal government priority. today, my administration's working to implement nearly 50 specific commitments to improve the lives of military families. everything from ptecting families from financial scams, improving education for military kids and spouses, to stepping up our fight to end homelessness among veterans. host: let me pick up on the president's issue of homelessness. we hear a lot about veterans coming back, unable to get jobs and living in shelters. how big of a problem is it? guest: everyone's statistics say it is a huge issue. it is an issue where we need the community and federal government to work together to solve the problem. employers to reach out to veterans, to hire them. these are talented, dedicated people who want to continue to work and want to serve. so they're wonderful labor
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pool for employers. we need the local civic organizations to be aware as they work in communities that our veteran population is out there, maybe with families who need help. and we need our government to step up and do as much as possible through getting the program out. and also work on prevention. what can we do to support those families as they prepare for that transition while they're still on active duty? host: this is at the same time congress will vote on cutting almost $40 billion in the budget for the next fiscal year and president talking about reducing the overall debt and deficit. where does the money come from? guest: military families are taxpayers too, they're concerned about the federal deficit just as everybody else in this country is. but military families also are doing a job for this country. so i think the money has to come from the federal government. one of our goals is to make sure
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that in that budget debate, the people who are making the budget decisions don't try to spend the peace dividend too soon. that they consider what the military families need to maintain long-term and have product as citizens of the country. we need community organizations and foundations to promote good projects to serve veterans and communities. and employers to embrace these folks as vital members of the workforce as well. it is a tough issue on the budget, but look at the cost of the support programs and the cost to the country if we don't keep these support mechanisms in place. host: kay wright saying 40% of the homeless people are vets or around 250,000 people, so much for thanks them for service.
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larry is joining us on the line from tennessee. good morning. caller: good morning. thank yofor your help with military families, young lady. i'm a third-generation combat vet, a second-generation military brat and 100% service coected, totally and disabled combat vet out of vietnam. the same thing that's going on right now with veterans at 40% of the veterans being able to find a job and living on the streets is the same thing that happened after vietnam. the people of the u.s. do not care about the veterans after they have served theirtime. they want to be protected but they don't want to pay. they don't want to go to war themselves because they're scared of getting killed, which rational. but there has got to be somebody
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out there to proct the american way of life. and if the people that receive that way of life aren't willing to help, how long do you think the military will remain as a volunteer orgazation? host: thank you, larry. guest: thank you, larry for you and your family's service. you are right. the nation has to support a honor that service, not just wi yellow ribbons and welcome-home ceremonies, but through that whole life of that military family and that veteran. and that's what we'rerying to raise. that is what i think t administration is trying to raise with this point of getting -- joining forces, pulling in employers and donors and nonprofit organizations and
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american citizens to help. we're a nonprofit, we don't take any federal funding. it's been -- individual americans and workplaces a civilians who have enabled us to do more for military families. the desire is out there to help. we need to sustain it and we need to give folks who want to help ideas about how they can help. >> more information by logging on to militaryfamily.org. the white house is also releasing photographs from vice president joe biden and first lady michelle obama as they meet with military families. host: what percent of the enlisted military on food stamps and other programs? guest: a small percentage of people on food stamps.
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the way it is calculated, most of the families do make more than would make them eligible. it is generallyarge junior enlisted families. those that came into the military with a family looking for a better opportunity that probably live in government housing. more military families that are eligible for wic, the women and infants and children program, but this is true across the united states. a very high percentage of our citizens are eligible for this wonderful nutrition progm. and we want our military families to be able to take advantage of those services. but i have to say that just because military families aren't on some of the government programs, doesn't mean that they might be on the financial edge because they're dealing with the deployment and extraosts that emerge because the service member is gone. they're young families. they've been ordered to move maybe across the country or
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across the world because of their military service. that military spouse may not be able to find a job right away when they do move. they're incurring expenses. we need to watch out for those families, whether or not they're on government programs and most of them aren't. we need to watch out for them and understand that many can be on the financial edge. i think that came out strongly last week with some of the news programs and stories about the potential government shutdown and what might happen to military families if this friday they only got one week's pay versus two weeks' pay. host: next caller is sheila on the phone from north dakota. we have a phone for military families. give us a call. good morning, sheila. caller: i have a question. me and my spouse are both military. over the course of the last 10 years, i had two children. me and my spouse were like
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passing ships, he would be deployed, then i would be deployed. it eventually led to our divorce. however i was then a single parent. when iould have to be deployed, my family members would come and live with my kids. but when you go with all the cuts they have done, when you call for counseling for your children, you are only given five sessions. now, when someone is gone and the kids ae only given five sessions when you come back, trying to deal with teenage issues that have arisen while you are gone and certainly not enough to work through the problems and anger and resentment. they're cutting out the chaplain, which is your only other option. i have a question as to what kind of -- you know, life skill services, why they limit those only to active duty itead of
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family members? host: thank you, sheila. guest: sheila, thank you for your service. your family is certainly one of the more common military families today in terms of dual military. you have kids, you are pulling family members in to help the kids when you or your former husband was deployed. it is rough. the counsel services that you talk about are new since the start of the war, but we're hearing from other families as well as you that in a lot of places they're not enough. sometimes, the problem is there just aren't enough providers in an area to see all of the families who need that counseling support. military chaplains are stretched thin as well. we're worriedbout them in terms of caregivers who is providing the support for them? but there is a national shortage
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of mental and behavioral health support countrywide. we have families in some areas and it may be that your location in north dakota that the government doesn't have enough. we need more counselors to step forward and say, we will see military families. even though military doesn't maybe pay the best in terms of reimbursement rate. we will see the patients because we believe it is important for us to do so. and we also would urge families, if you think you need more services than are covered, go back to military 1 source, which is the d.o.d.-sponsored program for military families or tricare program and say, you know, help me with services. there are additional services coming online that are available, not just for the service member but for the family. but we know that in some geographic areas, that is a real problem. i would hope that you check with us as well to see if we can
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connect you with resources. host: one viewer said if we were to exit iraq and afghanistan soon, some of the affected soldiers returning home without jobs. i use that as a wayo point out that usa today yesterday a story on vets from combat to campus, trying to ensure success and ease the transition from military life. on both of these, how do you respond? guest: what we have seen in the economy has been a factor in the veteran employment rate, as it stands today. we have a lot of people out looking for jobs. i think military veterans are going to have the same issues. we know military spouses today have the issues because they move to a new community and can't get a job in that community because of the economy. i think we have to push out to
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employers and say this is a valuable workforce. these are people that are highly trained. i think the new g.i. bill enabling the veterans to go to school to gain even more skills is going to help them in the long run. that g.i. bill has a transferability portion where some service members can give members they're not going to use to family members. it will help military spouses and military families send their kids to college. that unemployment issue is huge. weave to be careful sometimes about the messaging. a lot in the news about p.t.s.d. and combat stress. should not portray these folks as damaged goods. these are folks that reacted normally to abnormal situations. they have been dealing with these issues. they want to be a continued part of the american society, and they can do that through
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meaningful jobs. so we need to give them that help. host: next is tim from idaho. we want to show the militaryfamily.org website. our guest is the executive director of the association. good morng, tim. caller: good morning. i came from a military family. my dad fought in the second world war in chorea i was in korea twice. and i'm hearing all of these things about military families. today, individuals the same rank i was, same time i was when i was retired makes almost twice as much money as i do. that doesn't include benefits like housing allowances, separate rations. you know when i m's overseas, he can live onis overseas pay
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and his combat pay. a lot of the soldiers don't inform their families what is available to them. you know, a love my country and i love the fact that we should take care of these families, but i think oftentimes they go overboard. host: thank you for the call. also this tweet. most people have no idea nor do they care that so many of the enlisted families are struggling to survive. guest: i don't think it's that people don't care. i believe that there are those that don't have the connectio with the military the way folks did in world war ii, for example, when lots and lots of people served. one thing that happened with the call of the national guard and reserve during this war, more communities affected. the local firefighters, the police officers, the school
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teachers. some of these folks that are a key part of the communities have been called up to serve. communities have stepped forward. i think it does -- it does call for all of us to raise awareness about the issues that military families are facing. to say these folks are strong, they are proud of their service, they're determined to follow-through with that service, but they look to all of us as americans for help. i think it is -- the caller raises a wonderful point -- very important point abouthe economy today. you know, militaryamilies start financially at a more fortunate level than a l of people do today, because everybody in a military family is getting at least one paycheck. there are a lot of military benefits available for those families. the sacrifice that we ask of those families. the frequent moves, time away
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from home. we have a lot of kids who haven't seen their parents for birthdays, lidays, for several years. half of the military kids in the country today are under age 8. all these children have known is war. so we have to recognize that there are unique sacrifices our military famili are called on today that sometimes pay can't compensate for the sacrifices. a lot of times it makes life better but can't compensate. host: we need the for-profit technical colleges to train our vets to be the well-trained technicians so we can prosper. john is joining us with joyce raez raezer. caller: good morning. good morning ms. raezer. guest: good morning. caller: i tnk there is a disconnect in the political section of the country.
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we have the recent initiative by the president and first lady to assist military personnel, visit military families for the support that they want to give us, but at the same time, we just got done with a budget debate and one of the big things that they debated was the -- whether or not military people in the field getting shot at were going to get paid. when they bring up that as a debatable issue, i have to wonder about the sincerity of other programs that they come up with for veterans. and based on the fact that they did even bring up the issue of pay for a debatable issue, i think everybody in washington, d.c. needs to hang their heads in shame, crawl back under their desk and hide for the black stain they put on the honor of the country. host: comment? guest: frankly. i agreed with you last week. we spent all of last week trying
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to get information from military families about what that shutdown would mean. it was a frustrating process. we agreed. my staff. my husband is retired army. my staff is mostly military family members. they're asking the questions you're asking. our association is testifying with others this afternoon before the senate armed services committee and one of the things we're going t say is please don't let this happen again. that debate last week over the shutdown and the fact that there were questions about hat military services were going to bepen and whether military families were going to get paid on time create aid lot more stress in a community that is already stressed enough. and we believe that concerned citizens need to tell their members of congress, don't put our military families through this again. host: at this point, then we will go to chuck on the phone. there is the best g.i. bill and
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job training skills. is that the case? guest: the military focuses on education. on active duty if they can fit it in between di ployments. today's g.i. bill is a wonderful tool to help people transition to veteran status and g the skills they need. it is the best g.i. bill since the post-world war ii g.i. bill. our guest is joyce raez, national military family association executive director. we have a caller. good morning. caller: good morning. my problem is during the la
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last ... what's going on with congress here, in the taxes, both my retirement checks from the army and civil service, my taxes went up. now i'm speaking to a lot of young people in saying too many elitists in congress, inhe senate. what we have to do is get these people to realize that you're not only hurting them when they're in the service, you are also hurring them after -- hurting them after they retire, on top of it. i don't think we should be going through the pain we are going through. guest: that is a tough issue. military families are taxpayers, too. we're concerned about the government and the deficit, but we want to make sure that military families aren't penalized for their service. and that we also want to make sure there is funding available to support those who are bearing
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the brunt of war today. host: the president, first lady, vice president biden and his wife out more with this initiative. this is what the scene looked like from the east room as we listen to paul from pensacola, florida. good morning. caller: good morning. joyc let me put a different slant on this. i retired about 20 years ago. feel they have had a very positive military career. i raised three children. two of them college graduates. when i joined the navy, i was making lots of money. i made base pay, $77 a month. i got b.a.q. for $55 a month. and i think probably due to a good manager, wife, we have taken -- never got anything extra from the military
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whatsoever. we have just taken our military pay and i guess survived. she's turned that -- we started at $77 a month, 55 b.a.q. i joined the navy in 1956. this has evolved into a net worth -- i guess i'm bragging. a net worth over a million bucks. so i feel that the military has been great to me and my family. guest: i think mos military families who are serving today share your pride. your wife is one of my new heroes. there are a lot of military spouses out there like your wife, watching those finances, keeping the focus on the future well-being for that family. military families are proud of their service and the retention rates show.
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people want to stay military. they don't like the separation, but military members are doing what they have been trained to do in many parts of the world to help others. yoknow, i think the relief efforts in japan are the latest example of how our service members are, you know, trained on the ground to help hers. military families are proud of that. but i think we have to continue those of us who care about military families have to continue to make sure that the pay and the benefit and the support services that were good for your family, given the times you were going through, are what today's military families need. so thank you for your service and thank you for -- to your wife for all of the support she gave to you and this country by supporting your service. host: militaryfamily.org is the website. for those that didn't get
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through this morning and want to reach you what is the best way to reach you? guest: through the website. host: go ahead, terry. caller: i'm a disabled vietnam veteran. i was at walter reed for a year and a half. i have a son there n for a patient. i recently went up to visit him. i feel that he's getting the best care of anyplace in the world. the army is treating him extremely well. he's national guards from florida. the only problem i sometimes the national guard is treated as stepchildren from the regular my. there are differences they have that they need to work on, but all in all, i think my son is receiving excellent care. they do absolutely wonderful things through the wounded warrior program in washington. my son's two dghters and his wife have been flown up there to
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stay with him for a week. they plan all kinds of things for the soldiers when we were there. they did that for us in vietnam, but not quite as much. doing so much wonderful things at walter reed right now for our soldiers, i'm so happy about the way the boys are being done today over the way they were in the past. host: are you still with us? before we get a response from joyce raezer, how was your son injured and what is he being treated for at the moment? caller: they had an operation in kuwait. they made a mistake, messed up his incestins are messed up -- intestines are messed up right now. host: thank you for the call guest: that is the challenge. we want to keep the quality health care available for the wounded, ill, injured service members and their families. that is why we need to fight for
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adequate funding for the military health system. that is why we need civilian providers. we need to make sure when your son comes home to florida and maybe has to get somef his care through the v.a. or through a civilian provider, that they're going to work with d.o.d., work with your family to give him the best care possible. it really does take all the medical resources in this country to help military families because military families are everywhere. host: kelly is joining us on the military family line fm alabama. good morning. caller: good morning. i have three points to make. i have three daughters, there is three times, senior high school years. they all moved tir senior year. my youngest daughter that is a senior, we tried use the national compact for military children -- i might be saying
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that incorrectly. you know what i am talking about? guest: i do. caller: we, i feel like the state of alabama even though they participate at face value they don't really -- we had to fight for her to take state testing. she had just taken the same basic test in louisiana. being from alabama, i don't think the standards are that different. so, you know, a senior year is stressful and taking tests that she took the same thing. they wouldn't abide by what the results were there. she had the a.c.t. which she had a great score on that. it is almost like, it was a slap in the face and they thought we were trying to get out of something. that wasn'the issue. she just had the tests. another question i have, she's been accepted into george washington university but we will use the yellow ribbon program. we can't find out until may if she will even get accepted with the g.i. bill, you know with the
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yellow ribbon program. you know, that puts us in a predicament, because other challees she has to give them a letter of intent may 1st. what do we do? host: thank you, kelly. we have about a minute left. guest: i hope the university will work with you. everybody is learning the details with the g.i. bill. there have been issues that have come up in terms of the extra funding, the private universities are providing. so i think continue to work with that school and say, look, you know, we will know when you know and that is an issue we are hearing from other folks. i think the feedback on the interstate compact for educational opportunity for military children is valuable for us. we do advise that compact commission and bring input we hear from military families to them. i think part ofhe

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