Posts Tagged ‘service



23
Jul
16

All Who Want To Serve Are Welcome. Thanks, President Obama

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Helene Cooper: Pentagon Set To Lift Ban On Transgender People Serving In U.S. Military

The Pentagon next month will announce the repeal of a policy banning transgender people from serving openly in the military, Defense Department officials said on Friday, moving to end what has widely been seen as one of the last barriers to service. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has called the regulation outdated and harmful to the military. A year ago, he directed officials from all the military branches to determine what changes would be needed to lift the ban, in a tacit recognition that thousands of transgender people were already in uniform. Under the Pentagon’s plan, first reported by USA Today, each branch will put in place policies covering recruiting, housing and uniforms for transgender troops.

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Ashley Broadway-Mack, the president of the American Military Partner Association, a support network for partners and spouses of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender troops and veterans, said in a statement that “our transgender service members and their families are breathing a huge sigh of relief.” Estimates of the number of transgender people in the 1.2 million-member military range from 2,000 to more than 15,000. As with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that applied to gay men, lesbians and bisexuals until it was lifted in 2011, current rules have done little to keep transgender people out of the military. Instead, they have forced many to lie about their status and keep it a secret. Since taking the defense secretary post in February 2015, Mr. Carter has set about dismantling discriminatory rules in the services, including opening all combat positions to women. This week, Eric K. Fanning formally took over as Army secretary, becoming the first openly gay leader of a military service branch.

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WHITE HOUSE PHOTO-PRESIDENT OBAMA MILITARY PITTSBURGH-PETE SOUZA

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U.S. troops react as they shake hands with the President. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama hugs a soldier as he greets military personnel at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, April 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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02
Jun
16

Early Bird Chat

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All Times Eastern

11:45AM: President Obama addresses the United States Air Force Academy commencement ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Academy-Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colorado

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4:05PM: President Obama departs Colorado Springs

7:25PM: President Obama arrives at the White House

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18
Jan
16

A Day Of Service With The President And First Lady

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U.S. President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama (R) participate in a Martin Luther King Day service project at Leckie Elementary School in Washington, January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama participate in a community service project at Leckie Elementary school in celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and in honor of Dr. King’s life and legacy

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President Barack Obama, second from left, and first lady Michelle Obama, right, assemble a garden bed as they participate in a service project at Leckie Elementary School in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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U.S. President Barack Obama participates in a Martin Luther King Day service project at Leckie Elementary School in Washington, January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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President Barack Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama left, hand out books as they participate in a service project at Leckie Elementary School in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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President Barack Obama hands out books as he participate in a service project at Leckie Elementary School in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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President Barack Obama, second from left, and first lady Michelle Obamam right, assemble a garden bed as they participate in a service project at Leckie Elementary School in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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Pete Souza: The President reacts after getting beat in Rock Paper Scissors while participating in a service project at a local school on MLK day.

04
Oct
15

President Obama Honors Fallen Firefighters

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President Barack Obama speaks during the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial Service in Emmitsburg, Maryland. President Obama honored 84 firefighters that were killed in the line of duty last year and an additional three firefighters killed in previous years

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19
Jan
15

A Tweet Or Two: MLK Day

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26
Nov
14

The First Family’s Day

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President Barack Obama, First Daughters Sasha and Malia Obama at the annual tradition of pardoning the National Thanksgiving Turkey. This year’s turkey is named ‘Cheese.’

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The First Family volunteering at ‘Bread For The City’ community center in Washington, D.C.

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12
Sep
14

President Obama Celebrates 20 Years Of AmeriCorps

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President Barack Obama delivers remarks at an AmeriCorps Pledge ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House

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President Barack Obama is joined by former President Bill Clinton for a AmeriCorps Pledge ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. Clinton’s administration established the program in 1994

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hundreds of new volunteers are sworn in for duty

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11
Sep
14

The Obamas Give Back To Their Community

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President Barack Obama helps fill backpacks with items to give to homeless children while participating in a service project at The Inspired Teaching School

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First Lady Michelle Obama helps fill backpacks with items to give to homeless children

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President Barack Obama uses a ratchet wrench as he helps build a playground while participating in a service project at the Inspired Teaching School, a high-performing public charter school in northeast Washington, DC, to commemorate the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama help build a playground

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A family waits on their front porch for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to depart from the Inspired Teaching School

07
Jun
14

The Warmest of Tributes

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First Lady Michelle Obama’s remarks at the Memorial Service for Dr Maya Angelou

Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  My heart is so full.  My heart is so full.  Bebe — Oprah, why did you do that?  Just why did you put me after this?  (Laughter.)

To the family, Guy, to all of you; to the friends; President Clinton; Oprah; my mother, Cicely Tyson; Ambassador Young — let me just share something with you.  My mother, Marian Robinson, never cares about anything I do.  (Laughter.)  But when Dr. Maya Angelou passed, she said, you’re going, aren’t you?  I said, well, Mom, I’m not really sure, I have to check with my schedule.  She said, you are going, right?  (Laughter.)  I said, well, I’m going to get back to you but I have to check with the people, figure it out.  I came back up to her room when I found out that I was scheduled to go, and she said, that’s good, now I’m happy.  (Laughter.)

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It is such a profound honor, truly, a profound honor, to be here today on behalf of myself and my husband as we celebrate one of the greatest spirits our world has ever known, our dear friend, Dr. Maya Angelou.

In the Book of Psalms it reads:  “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the Earth.”  What a perfect description of Maya Angelou, and the gift she gave to her family and to all who loved her.

She taught us that we are each wonderfully made, intricately woven, and put on this Earth for a purpose far greater than we could ever imagine.   And when I think about Maya Angelou, I think about the affirming power of her words.

The first time I read “Phenomenal Woman”, I was struck by how she celebrated black women’s beauty like no one had ever dared to before.  (Applause.)  Our curves, our stride, our strength, our grace.  Her words were clever and sassy; they were powerful and sexual and boastful.  And in that one singular poem, Maya Angelou spoke to the essence of black women, but she also graced us with an anthem for all women –- a call for all of us to embrace our God-given beauty.

And, oh, how desperately black girls needed that message.  As a young woman, I needed that message.  As a child, my first doll was Malibu Barbie.  (Laughter.)  That was the standard for perfection.  That was what the world told me to aspire to.  But then I discovered Maya Angelou, and her words lifted me right out of my own little head.

Her message was very simple.  She told us that our worth has nothing to do with what the world might say.  Instead, she said, “Each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory.”  She reminded us that we must each find our own voice, decide our own value, and then announce it to the world with all the pride and joy that is our birthright as members of the human race.

Dr. Angelou’s words sustained me on every step of my journey –- through lonely moments in ivy-covered classrooms and colorless skyscrapers; through blissful moments mothering two splendid baby girls; through long years on the campaign trail where, at times, my very womanhood was dissected and questioned.  For me, that was the power of Maya Angelou’s words –- words so powerful that they carried a little black girl from the South Side of Chicago all the way to the White House.  (Applause.)

And today, as First Lady, whenever the term “authentic” is used to describe me, I take it as a tremendous compliment, because I know that I am following in the footsteps of great women like Maya Angelou.  But really, I’m just a beginner — I am baby-authentic.  (Laughter.)  Maya Angelou, now she was the original, she was the master.  For at a time when there were such stifling constraints on how black women could exist in the world, she serenely disregarded all the rules with fiercely passionate, unapologetic self.  She was comfortable in every last inch of her glorious brown skin.

But for Dr. Angelou, her own transition was never enough.  You see, she didn’t just want to be phenomenal herself, she wanted all of us to be phenomenal right alongside her.  (Applause.)  So that’s what she did throughout her lifetime -– she gathered so many of us under her wing.  I wish I was a daughter, but I was right under that wing sharing her wisdom, her genius, and her boundless love.

I first came into her presence in 2008, when she spoke at a campaign rally here in North Carolina.  At that point, she was in a wheelchair, hooked up to an oxygen tank to help her breathe.  But let me tell you, she rolled up like she owned the place.  (Laughter.)  She took the stage, as she always did, like she’d been born there.  And I was so completely awed and overwhelmed by her presence I could barely concentrate on what she was saying to me.

But while I don’t remember her exact words, I do remember exactly how she made me feel.  (Applause.)  She made me feel like I owned the place, too.  She made me feel like I had been born on that stage right next to her.  And I remember thinking to myself, “Maya Angelou knows who I am, and she’s rooting for me.  So, now I’m good.  I can do this.  I can do this.”  (Applause.)

And that’s really true for us all, because in so many ways, Maya Angelou knew us.  She knew our hope, our pain, our ambition, our fear, our anger, our shame.  And she assured us that despite it all –- in fact, because of it all -– we were good.  And in doing so, she paved the way for me and Oprah and so many others just to be our good, old, black-woman selves.  (Applause.)

She showed us that eventually, if we stayed true to who we are, then the world would embrace us.  (Applause.)  And she did this not just for black women, but for all women, for all human beings.  She taught us all that it is okay to be your regular old self, whatever that is –- your poor self, your broken self, your brilliant, bold, phenomenal self.

(Dr Angelou’s final tweet)

That was Maya Angelou’s reach.  She touched me.  She touched all of you.  She touched people all across the globe, including a young white woman from Kansas who named her daughter after Maya, and raised her son to be the first black President of the United States.  (Applause.)

So when I heard that Dr. Angelou had passed, while I felt a deep sense of loss, I also felt a profound sense of peace.  Because there is no question that Maya Angelou will always be with us, because there was something truly divine about Maya.  I know that now, as always, she is right where she belongs.

May her memory be a blessing to us all.  Thank you.  God bless.  (Applause.)

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07
Jun
14

First Lady at Dr Maya Angelou Memorial Service

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