Remarks by Second Lady Jill Biden to Service Members Aboard the USS Ramage in Greece

June 24, 2011

[As Prepared for Delivery]

Good morning! Thank you, Secretary Mabus for that warm introduction. And thank you all for welcoming me to the USS Ramage.

I am so pleased to be able to join you here today.

I was honored when the President asked me to come to Athens to lead the U.S. Delegation to the Special Olympics – and I am looking forward to watching the games and cheering the incredible athletes.

But I never miss a chance to visit with members of the military and their families, so I was thrilled when Secretary Mabus invited me to spend time with you here on the USS Ramage.

I can't think of a better way to spend my first day in Greece.

My son is a Captain in the Delaware Army National Guard and he recently spent a year in Iraq – so my husband and I know well the mixture of pride and concern that all military families share.

I am inspired by all of you. And I am inspired by your families. Whether they are your wives or girlfriends, your moms and dads, your children, or your grandparents – they all think about you every day. And they await your safe return home.

And I know that you cannot focus on your job here, unless you know your families back home are taken care of.

So the First Lady and I are working hard to make sure the country understands what you do, and we are encouraging individuals, groups, and businesses to join forces with us to support you and your families.

I know that it is early in your deployment, and that you have some long months ahead of you. But I want you to know that your families are not forgotten.

The First Lady and I are spreading the word to all Americans that everyone can play a part in making our military families feel appreciated and supported.

I know many of you have served this ship with pride and dedication for the last 5 years.

I have seen your schedule, and I know how hard you have worked. And I understand that your time aboard the Ramage has been unique. A great deal has been asked of you. You have endured frequent deployments, multiple missions, and long separations from your families.

On behalf of the President, the First Lady, my husband Joe and myself, I want thank you for your service and your sacrifice. The work that each and every one of you does is critical to our national security.

You and your families make us proud – and I am honored to have the chance to visit with you today.

So, thank you for all you do. I am delighted to be here.

Jill Biden, Remarks by Second Lady Jill Biden to Service Members Aboard the USS Ramage in Greece Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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