Fort Campbell, KY – In mid-February, several hundred members of Fort Campbell’s 101st Airborne Division were deployed to Europe to support a combined task force providing security assistance to our NATO allies. On Wednesday evening, March 9th, 2022 First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden visited about 100 family members of those deployed troops.
Family members were attending a BBQ dinner, provided by Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) ASYMCA is a long-standing partner of the First Lady’s White House initiative, joining forces, and providing support and resources for military families.
Dr. Biden greeted the group, mostly women and children, with these words. “Sometimes we see history in front of us, a line that divides before and after. I’m here to tell you today the President and I are so proud of you, the members of the 101st Airborne Division, who are helping us keep our promise to NATO.”
Dr. Biden talked about our government’s efforts to hold Vladimir Putin accountable through diplomacy and crippling sanctions. “We’re providing Ukraine with economic, humanitarian, and security assistance,” Biden said. “And, the Screaming Eagles are there in Europe, standing with our allies, and welcoming Ukrainian refugees.”
Dr. Biden delivered a heartfelt speech that lasted only about six minutes.
“I knew that the President was sending troops into Poland and other places, and I said, where are the families.” Dr. Biden said. “As I was coming back from the west coast I wanted to stop here, and hear from you, to find out how you’re doing, and what’s on your mind.
“As an Army mom myself, I know. You and your family (we) serve alongside our loved ones. Loving, encouraging, and praising them. At a time when you’re carrying a heavier share of childcare, and home responsibilities.
“I know you’re losing sleep while pride and fear and frustration wrestle in your mind. I happen to know that because my son was deployed in Iraq. Every morning, we have to say a prayer, because that’s the first thing on our mind.”
Dr. Biden continued with empathetic words of encouragement for the spouses and family members in the room.
“You’re keeping things together for your family,” Dr. Biden said. “We didn’t get months to prepare. This was unexpected, for all of us. We didn’t have time for lengthy goodbyes. In a moment, you had to be ready to face this challenge. But, you will face this, like you face all the other challenges, with your shoulders back and your chin up. You always answer the call of duty with strength, and resilience, and grace.”
Dr. Biden stayed long after her speech, taking the time to meet with everyone in the room.