On Monday evening, the duo hosted their final event for their Joining Forces initiative for military families, where they reflected on the project as well as the close partnership and friendship they’ve developed over the years.
Vice President Joe Biden’s wife spoke first, introducing the first lady as a “champion for military families” and a “true role model, especially for young girls.”
“As a military mom, I am grateful for her service,” Biden said. “I love her. We’re family.”
Michelle seemed overwhelmed as she took the stage and gave Biden a long hug. “Oh, my goodness. This wasn’t supposed to be tearful,” she said with a laugh.
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The first lady was quick to return Biden’s compliments, calling her a devoted “partner in crime” in the Joining Forces Initiative. “Jill has been by far the best partner I could have ever imagined, not just for the work on Joining Forces, but our families have joined forces in so many ways,” Obama said, her eyes filling with tears. “I’m just grateful to have her by my side.”
“But Jill is much more than a partner,” the first lady added. “She is one of my dearest friends. And, as Jill said, we’re family. This is my girl right here. We have laughed together. We have been silly together. We have cried a lot. We’ve been there for each other as much as we can throughout this amazing journey. And Jill is not just brilliant, but she is kind. She is very funny. And she is one of the strongest people I know. I love and admire her with all my heart.”
Obama promised that she and Biden will continue working on the initiative “for the rest of our lives” and said she’s hopeful the next administration will continue their efforts.
“Because this issue has nothing to do with whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or an independent,” she said. ” It is so much bigger than that. It’s about supporting our American heroes. And it’s about standing up for who we are as a nation.”