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First Lady, Dr. Biden Launch Community Challege 
The First Lady greeting a crowd. 
First Lady Michelle Obama greets a crowd of National Guard and local families during a Joining Forces community event in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio, April 14, 2011. The national initiative she launched with Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, calls on all sectors of society to honor and support military families. (Defense Department photo by Elaine Sanchez) (Released)
American Forces Press Service 
By Elaine Sanchez 
WASHINGTON, July 26, 2011 

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, unveiled a new program this week intended to celebrate Americans going above and beyond to improve military families’ lives. The Joining Forces Community Challenge will award prizes to people and organizations that have demonstrated exceptional military family support, from lending a hand with accounting during tax season to hosting a parade to welcome home wounded warriors. Obama and Biden announced the challenge at a Joining Forces event in New Hampshire on July 24. Speaking to a group of National Guard and Reserve families, Biden encouraged people to nominate people and groups that have discovered creative or innovative ways to support military families. “The idea can be large or small, new or old, as long as it demonstrates in some way the tremendous gratitude all of us feel for our military families,” she said. People can nominate citizens, communities, schools, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, faith-based institutions and local governments by visiting the Challenge website. Winners will be honored at an event here in early 2012 and also will be profiled on the Champions of Change website. Entries will be accepted through Sept. 30 and should include details on how the nominee positively affects military families, whether they’re active duty, National Guard, Reserve, veterans or survivors of fallen troops. Obama and Biden launched the Joining Forces campaign in April to raise awareness of military families and to spark all Americans – from citizens and communities to businesses and nonprofit groups – to take action to ensure troops and their families have the support they need and deserve. “We want this entire country to recognize and honor and support our military members and their families,” the first lady said in New Hampshire. “We want you to know that this country has your back.”

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7/27/2011