Joining Forces Executive Director Todd Veazie's Veterans Day Message

Uploaded by whitehouse on 10.11.2012

Captain Todd Veazie: I'm Captain Todd Veazie.
And I'm pleased to introduce myself as the new Executive
Director of Joining Forces.
As an active duty Naval Special Warfare Officer with 26 years of
service, I've deployed to over 50 countries around the world
and built strong working relationships with my colleagues
in every branch of service.
It is a special privilege for me to join the First Lady and
Dr. Biden and their important work to give back to those who
have given so much.
As we pause to celebrate Veteran's Day and the brave men
and women who have selflessly served our nation,
you have the opportunity to continue serving our
military families.
As the First Lady always says, do what you do best.
You can offer to mow your neighbor's lawn or help prepare
a hot meal for a coworker whose spouse is currently deployed.
If you have a few hours to spare,
you can join forces with Blue Star Families Network.
Over the past year, thousands of Americans have committed to
support our veterans and military families by doing
13 million hours of volunteer service.
Getting involved is easy.
And if you want to volunteer on behalf of our service members,
veterans, and their families, please visit
Since launching Joining Forces in April 2011,
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden have worked
tirelessly to mobilize all sectors of society to support
and honor our service members, veterans, and their families.
In short, to recognize and respect them as the national
treasure they are.
Thus far, more than 2,000 companies joined in the effort
to hire or train 125,000 veterans and military spouses
and pledge to hire 250,000 more in the years ahead.
My wife, Vanessa, and I have been married for 22 years.
And she knows firsthand the challenges that our spouses and
children willingly face in the nomadic life of
military families.
Like so many others, she experienced the financial and
administrative burdens on military spouses seeking to
transfer their state licenses or certification credentials from
state to state.
That is why I'm pleased to announce that Joining Forces has
worked with 27 states to pass legislation that supports
military spouses.
And we know that we can get 23 other states to follow suit.
Dr. Jill Biden launched Operation Educate the Educator.
This call to action commits those that sign on to guiding
principles in their preparation programs and partner with Pre-K
through 12 schools to ensure future educators have the
knowledge and skills necessary to meet the needs of our
military connected children.
We've also seen medical schools and national nursing
organizations commit to improving the mental health of
our returning service members.
We know that the vast majority of our service members return
home enriched by their experiences and do not suffer
from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.
But for those that do, it is integral that they receive the
best support possible.
As you can see, over the past year and a half,
Joining Forces has made great strides.
And we are looking forward to doing even more next year.
To find ways to connect with Joining Forces in your community
and to share your stories, please visit