Obamas launch military families initiative

April 12, 2011 at 10:37 PM

WASHINGTON, April 12 (UPI) -- President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and their wives, Michelle and Jill, launched an initiative Tuesday to help U.S. military families.

Joining Forces draws on businesses, including national giants like Walmart, Siemens Corp. and Sears, and non-profit groups, the White House said. The goal is to provide training and employment opportunities, education and healthcare assistance for members of the military, their spouses and children.

Obama named two people to the board, retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was pushed out of command in Afghanistan after he criticized the president in an interview, and Patty Shinseki, whose husband, retired Gen. Eric Shinseki, is now secretary of veterans affairs.

"Joining Forces was created to recognize and serve our nation's extraordinary military families who, like their loved ones in uniform, serve and sacrifice so much so that we can live in freedom and security," Michelle Obama said. "This is a challenge to every segment of American society not to simply say thank you but to mobilize, take action and make a real commitment to supporting our military families."

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