Michelle Obama photo

Remarks by the First Lady and Conan O'Brien at a Meet and Greet with American Servicemembers at Al-Udeid Air Force Base in Abu Nakhlah, Qatar

November 03, 2015

MR. O'BRIEN: Ladies and gentlemen, hello! (Applause.) The First Lady of the United States. (Applause.) Pretty amazing. Doesn't happen every day.

I just want to say on my own behalf, I am very honored. The First Lady's office called me I think two weeks ago and said, would my people and I come on this trip, and I said no. (Laughter.) And she said, I don't think you heard me, and I said, no I'm kidding, I'm coming. (Laughter.)

And we've come to give you guys an amazing show tonight. It's all because of the First Lady, and we owe her a huge debt of gratitude for doing that. So thank you very much. (Applause.)

This is strange. It's not every day I get to say I was hanging out in a sports bar with the First Lady tonight. (Laughter.) But I'm sure you'd like to say something. Hi.

MRS. OBAMA: Hey. (Laughter.) First, let's give it up for Conan. I mean, amazing. Amazing. (Applause.)

Let me tell you how this happened -- because whenever I travel, I try to make sure that I visit any base that's anywhere in the world that I can get to so I can see you guys, touch you guys. I want to bring some love from home, whatever we can do.

So we're planning this trip, and so my staff said -- I said, well, what do the folks here want? And they were like, ice cream. I was like, ice cream? Is that it? Me and some ice cream, that's going to suffice? (Laughter.) I was like no, we've got to do better than that.

And my team called up Conan's team, and it was literally two weeks out, and they were like, yeah. And I think -- weren't you in the Middle East? Were you -- you were just --

MR. O'BRIEN: I was in -- I had just gotten back from Dubai. And I left Dubai, and I did some shooting in Armenia. And then I went to Dubai and flew back --

MRS. OBAMA: Film shooting. (Laughter.)

MR. O'BRIEN: Filming, film shooting. Yes. (Laughter.) I think they know me. They know I'm a physical coward.

But I went to Dubai, flew back -- 18 hours -- got home, saw my wife and kids and I said, I won't be doing that, honey, anytime soon again. And I think the phone rang three days later and you said, we need you to fly pretty much to Dubai. But my wife said, that's the First Lady, you're going, I don't want to see you ever again if you don't go on this trip. Yes, so -- (laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: So that's what we do for you all, because we are just so proud of you and so grateful. And this isn't an easy post. You guys are doing the tough work, and you're doing it, as I've said, without complaint. You are doing it well. You are representing our nation.

I have always been in awe of our military servicemembers and your families, and our veterans. This is why I do this work. And it's really because of you.

You guys, I connected with you, and you made me want to be your shining light and be your voice, and try to make sure that everyone in the country knows what you do and how important it is, and that we have to rally to support you and your families as much as you support us.

So this is just my way of saying thank you. The real work we try to do back home on the ground every day. And it's something I'm going to do for the rest of my life. First Lady years are going to be behind me soon, but then, look out. I'll have more time to come and hang out with you guys I guess. (Laughter.)

But we are very proud. And we're very honored to be here and to be able to bring some great entertainment to you guys. Please enjoy this night. And thank you. We love you. (Applause.)

Michelle Obama, Remarks by the First Lady and Conan O'Brien at a Meet and Greet with American Servicemembers at Al-Udeid Air Force Base in Abu Nakhlah, Qatar Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/321754

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