Fort Drum, NY
Thank you, Dr. Hicks. Kath, I’m really proud to be here with you today. You and Secretary Austin continue to demonstrate and act on your commitment to supporting our military and their families. Thank you.
I’m grateful to the Garrison and the 10th Mountain Division leadership team for their warm welcome, and for hosting us today. And I want to say a special thank you to the USO for putting together this wonderful lunch.
Coming here to Fort Drum is my privilege and an honor. Because, as the daughter of Signalman Don Jacobs, who served in the Pacific in World War II, as the mom of Major Beau Biden, and as a nana who watched her two little grandchildren put on brave smiles while their father served in Iraq, you’re my community. You’re my military family. And family is everything.
So, I’m grateful to get to know you today and hear your stories. And I want you to know that I’m going to bring those back home to my husband, your President, so that we can better serve military families across the country and in communities like this one. Your health and your happiness matter to us.
As you know, we have an all-volunteer force—and have for fifty years. We don’t demand military service of our citizens. You step forward. That’s why we have to make sure that service is an opportunity of dignity and honor, of pride and accomplishment—for the entire family.
We will only be able to maintain a strong voluntary force if we don’t force our troops to choose between their love of country and their love of the families who serve alongside them. That means giving all of you the support you have earned, so you can build good lives—lives that make your whole family proud.
Joining Forces, my White House initiative to support military and veteran families, caregivers, and survivors, is working hard to get you the resources and opportunities your service deserves.
So let me close with these thoughts:
May the friendships we make here warm our hearts and sustain us even through the coldest winters.
May we tell the story of your community with dignity, boldness, and truth—so that all Americans understand the sacrifices that you make, both in times of war and times of peace.
May our gratitude go beyond words to become action—working tirelessly, together, to build a nation that is worthy of your sacrifice.
And may God bless our troops, their families, caregivers, and survivors.
With all my heart: thank you for your service and your sacrifice.