State News

Michelle Obama rallies military families for change

Posted October 7, 2008

— Michelle Obama called on military families Tuesday for their support in electing her husband the next president of the United States, saying he is the only candidate who shares their vision of a military system that does more to support its troops and their families.

Speaking to a crowd of hundreds in Jacksonville, home to Camp Lejeune, Obama highlighted Sen. Barack Obama's plans to expand health care benefits to families and a 21st Century GI Bill that would offer an affordable college education to veterans and their families.

"Today, Barack is determined to lead America to make the same commitment to military families today so that they have the same opportunity he had, his grandfather had, his mother had," she said.

Michelle Obama said her husband's life was shaped because of the opportunities his grandfather had from the government as a result of serving in World War II.

"Barack Obama understands," she said, "because his life was shaped by the sacred contract our country makes with the men and women who serve it."

But military families today are doing without, she said. Spouses of those deployed overseas are responsible for everything in their family's households, and in today's struggling economy, the everyday challenges Americans are facing are even harder for military families.

"They're doing everything that's asked of them and more, and they're not asking for much in return," Michelle Obama said. "They're just asking for a Washington that understands the unique challenges military families are facing as part of their extraordinary commitment to this country."

Speaking before Obama, military wife Tess Sanders said she and her husband, now serving overseas, knew the risks they were taking when he enlisted.

"We knew we had to keep up our end of the bargain, but we did not know that the government might not keep up its end," Sanders said. "And that's what hurts me the most, and that's what hurts this community."

The campaign event came the same day as the Republican vice presidential candidate, Gov. Sarah Palin, was scheduled to speak at East Carolina University in Greenville.

Tuesday night, Barack Obama and Republican John McCain meet in the second of three scheduled debates between the presidential candidates.

With recent polls showing both candidates in a tight race in North Carolina, Obama's campaign has mounted an aggressive fight as it challenges McCain for the state's electoral votes.

North Carolina hasn't picked a Democratic presidential candidate in 32 years, and veterans and military families could play a crucial role in making that happen. There are eight active military bases in the state with more than 7,000 troops deployed overseas.

"We have to work together as a community, as neighbors, as brothers and sisters," Michelle Obama said. "And if we do that, not only will we elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States, but we could change the world."


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  • Oct Oct 8, 2008

    Maybe the Obama's don't know what the military families are going thru, but they have a lot of supporters who do. My daughter, a career Jag Officer (army) is going to Iraq next month. She volunteered to go because she loves her country. We love her and our country and think what we need now is to put our government back into the hands of the people. Make our leaders accountable for what they do and don't do. If this campaign is so filled with hate, how in the world are we ever going to be a united country again?

  • mom2threecld Oct 8, 2008

    davidfnews, i wasn't being negaitve you are overly defensive about the obamas. get over it. she was the one that made a comment about the usa being a mean nation, not i, and i have my opinion about things just as you do. we just have to agree to disagree

  • destewart2 Oct 8, 2008

    the obama's have no idea what miltary families are going through right now.

  • jdman Oct 8, 2008


  • Oct Oct 8, 2008

    What Ronald Reagan (McCain's self proclaimed hero) did to the American middle class has never been righted. I am so tired of poor Republicans who think they are rich sprouting off about how if you don't have insurance you can go to the Health Department. How is that for speaking out of both sides of your mouth? Do they have a clue what they are talking about?

  • leelou3 Oct 8, 2008

    "You people that want universal healthcare must be the one's that are TOO lazy to go get a real job and get tral healthcare."

    Keep singing that note until you find yourself without a job after you get the pink slip blues and then maybe you'll have more understanding for those who are without insurance.

  • davidgnews Oct 8, 2008

    davidnraleigh - I'll bet you can write one humdinger of a hate speech. You're good.

  • pingmanreturns Oct 8, 2008

    "In case you have not noticed, the jobless rate is at an all time high."

    Where did you come up that staistic? What a stretch!

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 8, 2008

    Why is Michelle Obama speaking in a political speach? What office is she running for? I haven't seen McCain or Palin's spouses doing political speeches. Oh, I forgot, their spouses aren't running for office. Why in the world would they be speaking? How stupid of me. Why couldn't Joe Biden speak in place of Michelle Obama? That's right, because he has NO SHOT of winning over voters in NC. Michelle Obama is an unknown. People simply want to hear her speak for some unknown reason. Maybe she is candidating for a run in 2012 or 2016. What a joke!

  • jplace Oct 8, 2008

    A note to UNCG4heels..

    80% of the uninsured in this country have jobs
    NC ranks 33 out of 50 for uninsured citizens
    In NC 40% of the uninsured work for small businesses.
    The majority of uninsured are U.S. citizens.

    In case you have not noticed, the jobless rate is at an all time high.

    The U.S. is the only industrialized country without some form of guaranteed health care.

    You should try to find out more about what you are talking about. Check out