Joining Forces

“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.” said First Lady Michelle Obama at the launch of a new national initiative called Joining Forces on Tuesday. The initiative provides all Americans with new ways to support and show gratitude to America’s service members and their families. Secretary Duncan, President Obama, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden joined the First Lady in announcing the new initiative.

By working with communities, non-profits, businesses, charitable organizations and faith based institutions, Joining Forces aims to ensure military families have the education, employment and healthcare support they have earned.

For more information on how you can share messages of thanks, get involved, and share your own story of military service visit You can also watch a video from the First Lady and Dr. Biden announcing the Joining Forces initiative.

Earlier this year, Secretary Duncan noted that ED is “committed to providing children of military families the support and education they need to thrive, as well as expanding educational opportunities for military spouses and veterans.” ED has created a one-stop “shop” Military Families and Veterans web page that provides information on educational benefits and programs available through the Department of Education.


  1. As a grandmother of three grandsons Jake 11 and twins, Brandon and Tyler seven I am closely affected by the deployment of my son-in-law.

    My husband and I are available when needed to assist with my daughter and grandsons needs.

    Last year my grandson wrote an essay about why his Dad should be Military Dad of the Year. He was one of 500 entrants and won the contest. We had the pleasure of going to Washington for the presentation by the Fatherhood Initiative. It was a wonderful experience for the whole family and a memory I will treasure. There was a video in which Jake my grandson expressed his feelings about his Dad’s service.

    Seeing firsthand how much their Dad’s deployments affects the family is eye opening. Also, seeing how they manage their daily routines, their feelings and struggles inspires me to want to do more for them.

    This is a wonderful and overdue program. Hopefully many families will receive support and encouragement they need to keep strong until their loved ones return home once again.

    Thank you first and second ladies for all you are doing.

    Gloria/aka gigi (That’s what my grandsons call me)

    • Gloria – Thanks so much for sharing your story.

      Cameron Brenchley
      Office of Communications and Outreach
      U.S. Department of Education

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