It's the dawn of a new day for the Obama administration! Well, okay, not quite, but the President has announced the launch of a national initiative called Joining Forces, which will "highlight and support service members and their families, joining with top corporations and nonprofit groups to bolster their health-care, employment, and educational opportunities." Leading the charge will be First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Dr. Jill Biden, who will begin their tour of military bases and communities tomorrow.
President Obama makes a very valid point that caring for the men and women who serve our country should be a priority.
Of course the government should help military families cope with the needs and strains put on veterans returning from war. He said:
Behind every American in uniform stands a wife, a husband; a mother, a dad; a son or daughter; a sister or brother. These families — these remarkable families — are the force behind the force. They are the reason we have the finest military in the world.
Seriously, there's absolutely nothing controversial about this to me. But how much ya wanna bet that some people are going to find something about this initiative to gripe about?
Just like the far left complained that the health care bill didn't take reform far enough, there are those who are upset that the administration missed a January deadline to implement a law that would give cash assistance, counseling, and additional help to people caring for wounded troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. But the White House doesn't plan on dismissing that at all -- it's just taking longer to put into motion than they initially thought.
And in the meantime, hey, Joining Forces seems like a great step in the right direction. But, of course, it's the government offering welfare-like benefits to military fams -- like health care (oh no, ObamaCare!). Someone will come out with an angry sign about that, I'm sure. Mrs. O. will probably also be slammed for ... I don't know, wearing the wrong color nail polish on a military base. And certain Congresspeople and pundits will get into a huff about how joining with PBS for The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families is a slap in the face to those who wanted to cut funding for public broadcasting.
But if you take a step back ... and breathe ... and disassociate from any feelings you have about our current administration, this initiative kind of just seems like an updated version of what FDR did after World War Two with the G.I. Bill, which enacted social programs to help veterans get re-acclimated to society and start building their American Dream. Hello, these men and women who go overseas on behalf of America still deserve that dream, don't they?
But just because it's an initiative being headed up by Obama and the First Lady, I'm afraid people are going to struggle to come together on something that would have been so obviously no-big-whoop at any other time in our country's history.
What do you think about the Joining Forces initiative?
Image via Charles McCain/Flickr