Photo Credit: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic
Exciting news! iVillage is hitting the road, heading to the Vice President’s Residence Monday to talk with Dr. Jill Biden, the Second Lady of the United States, about one of the projects closest to her heart – increasing support for military families. As you may know, the Vice President’s son, Beau Biden, now the Delaware Attorney General, is a Major in the Delaware National Guard and served in Iraq for one year so Jill Biden can talk firsthand about having a loved one serve in the military. She personally knows what impact deployments can have on a family and how difficult it can be to be separated during the holidays.
We’ve wanted to interview Dr. Biden for months – especially after she and First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off Joining Forces, their combined effort to get us all to think a bit more about military families and to get companies, organizations and non-profits to try and devote more resources to helping military families as well.
Unless you have a loved one in the military or you know someone in the military, I think it’s hard to really get it. I was reminded of that when I had the chance to interview military wives and moms last year at the USO’s National Gala. There I met Kelly Walker, whose husband has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It’s hard, I mean... being home all the time, with just my two kids, by myself, doing everything by myself,” she told me as her eyes began to tear up a little bit. “It’s hard not having him home all the time or the kids not being able to talk to him. It’s hard on them."
I simply can’t imagine how I’d cope if I were in her shoes.
So what is the White House doing to help families like the Walkers? What can we all do to help military families during the holidays? What does Dr. Biden think is the number one thing each of us can do to help? And how does Jill Biden balance being a teacher (she is a professor of English at a local community college) and the Second Lady?