Dr. Jill Biden spoke about the pertinence of the Joining Forces initiative. Joining Forces works hand in hand with the public and private sector to ensure service members, vets, and family are equipped with the tools they need to thrive.
“It’s so important that we ensure women veterans have the tools and resources they need to succeed. Because a new job and degree can empower a veteran and her family. Its gets them their shot at the American Dream,” said Dr. Biden.
First Lady Michelle Obama continued the thoughts of Dr. Biden with a call to action, but not without honoring Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught. Obama called Vaught “one of the most inspiring, trailblazing women I have ever met. She then went on to say “Thanks to brilliant, fearless women like general Vaught, today more than 200,000 women are serving our country in just about every role and rank,” the first lady said. “They are flying fighter jets, training new recruits, they’re graduating Army Ranger School -- and I met those graduates. They are awesome -- fierce. And as you’ve already heard, they will soon be welcome in every combat unit in our armed forces.”
She also spoke about the many challenges women in uniform face today and closed her speech out with a call to action for all women veterans. “Today I want to challenge everyone to take action on behalf of women veterans. If you are a women veteran I urge you to share your story, your service, your sacrifices.”
At the end of the event, Leader Pelosi, the first lady, Dr. Biden, and members of Congress honored retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught with an American flag that was flown over Capital on the day of her retirement from the President of the Board of Directors of the Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, Inc. General Vaught was the first female general in Air Force history; she also is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Women’s History Museum and serves on the Virginia War Memorial Foundation Board of Trustees. During her military career, she held various positions in the comptroller field at Barksdale AFB, LA; Zaragoza AFB, Spain; McCoy AFB, The Pentagon, Washington, DC; and she was the Deputy Chief of Staff, Comptroller, USAF Systems Command, Andrews AFB, MD. She is most decorated woman veteran of the U.S. Air Force to date.