|The Power of Joining Forces|
By Michelle Obama
Be a part of the initiative that’s supporting American military families at home and abroad.
This past summer, the Producers Guild was proud to be a part of JOINING FORCES, an inter-guild initiative in support of military families, supported by none other than our First Lady, Michelle Obama. As a result of PGA involvement, military bases around the world enjoyed screenings of Cars 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and other major motion pictures.
We are proud to continue the work of JOINING FORCES by publishing this brief piece from the First Lady as a website feature.
THE POWER OF JOINING FORCES
Bobby Jarman and his wife wanted to retire together. After his 22-year Army career ended, however, his wife was redeployed to Iraq. And Bobby became a full-time dad for his four daughters.
Arnita Brigham Moore can relate. When her husband joined the Marines, she soon realized that she would be asked to serve our country, as well. Deployments meant Arnita had to play the role of mother and father for their four children, serving as counselor, disciplinarian, and everything else.
But neither Arnita nor Bobby ever complained. They kept moving forward, doing what they needed to do for their family and for our country. And every single day, veterans and military families all across America demonstrate that same commitment, honor, and resilience.
But as much as these stories are a part of my life now, they weren’t always on my radar. For many years, even though I followed the news of the day and kept up on most issues, I simply didn’t know much about the experiences of military families. That’s probably the case for most Americans.
But as I’ve learned more and more about the unique strength and courage of our military families, I’ve become driven to do whatever I can to make sure that these stories are heard. That’s why I launched the Joining Forces initiative with Dr. Jill Biden earlier this year to honor, appreciate, and support our nation’s veterans and military families. We’re asking all Americans – businesses, nonprofits, government, and citizens of all kinds – to keep doing what they do best, and direct some of their efforts toward military families.
That’s why I’m writing to you today – because all of you are our storytellers. You capture our imaginations. You open our eyes. You touch our hearts. And you help us understand who we are as individuals – and as Americans.
So I’m asking you to make these brave, strong military families a part of what you do every day. You might build an episode around a military family’s experience. You might add a character that is going through a deployment or explore the challenges veterans face when they return home. You don’t have to create a full-length screenplay or a pitch the networks on a brand-new series. Simply work it in to what you’re already doing. Be creative. Be compelling. Be funny.
I’ll bet if you asked any of the actors, directors, or producers involved with any of these projects, they’d say they got as much out of the experience than any of the families they were hoping to highlight. That’s been my experience every step of the way. Every time I’ve spoken with a family member or worked on a project with them, I’ve come away refreshed, inspired, and ready to do more. I think you’ll have the same feeling, too.
So I hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunities you have to make a difference for our nation’s veterans and military families. Share their stories. Help America feel their emotions and understand their challenges.
If we can do this, we’ll help unleash even more of the compassion and goodwill that exists throughout America for these families. We’ll see even more creative, meaningful ways that Americans are showing their support. We’ll see more people getting involved. And when we all do that – when we all join forces – we can be sure that we’re serving them as well as they’ve served us.