Jill Biden to meet military spouses during stop in Colorado

DENVER, Colo. (AP) – First lady Jill Biden plans to visit military husbands on Thursday at an army base in Colorado, her last stop on a sweep through the western US.

She is ready to speak at the Fort Carson military base near Colorado Springs, ahead of the military spouse’s valuation day on Friday. It comes a day after Biden visited a school and vaccination clinic in Utah and a hospital in Las Vegas.

The White House last month announced the revival of an Obama-era initiative, Joining Forces, that prioritizes employment for military spouses, education for the children of enlisted parents and veterans, and the health and well-being of military families.

First rolled out in 2011 under President Barack Obama, the initiative was led by then-first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden when Joe Biden was vice president. Under former President Donald Trump, the White House webpage for the initiative was removed and filed.

According to the US Census Bureau, there are more than 1.3 million active duty members, 52% of whom are married. And 642,000 children under the age of 18 live in those households.

Joining Forces aims to create flexible, transferable and remote jobs for military spouses due to the frequent travel lifestyle of active families. According to the Defense Department’s 2019 Active-Duty Spouses Survey, the unemployment rate for military spouses was nearly 22%.

A White House statement on the initiative says there are an estimated 2 million children living in active duty, reservist or veteran families. Joining Forces aims to establish programs to support military children’s education and “help alleviate the burdens caused by the highly mobile military lifestyle.”

Joining Forces also focuses on the health and welfare of military families. That includes improving mental health care, eliminating food insecurity, and supporting the health and economic toll of injured, sick, or injured service workers.

The first lady named Rory Brosius as the Executive Director of Joining Force. She had previously served as the programme’s deputy director under Obama.

Jill Biden’s father, Donald Jacobs, was a World War II Navy signalman who attended college on the GI Bill. Her late son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46, served in the Delaware Army National Guard, including one year in Iraq.

Biden’s other causes are education and cancer research. She is a longtime professor of English at community colleges.

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Nieberg is a member of the Corps for the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a national nonprofit service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on hidden issues.

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