By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, joined Senate spouses and White House interns yesterday to help USO volunteers in putting together “warrior care packs” to aid wounded, injured and ill troops in their recovery process.
The event was hosted on the grounds of the vice president’s residence, where Biden emphasized the importance of everyone coming together to help wounded service members, citing the Joining Forces campaign she has championed with First Lady Michelle Obama over the last two years.
“This is what is really and truly important – that we’re working together to help our troops,” she said.
Biden noted the event had been postponed because of the government shutdown and called the day a way to honor and support military families.
“I’m speaking for them,” she said, “and I think God gave us this day as a gift so we could come out here and pack boxes.”
Biden said she and the vice president make every effort to visit and talk with wounded troops. She recalled meeting a service member named Cedric, who came to a barbecue the Bidens hosted for wounded warriors.
“He got off that bus, … and he had lost both of his legs, and he had metal legs,” she said. “And now he is training for the Paralympics. “I mean, it was just incredible. And guess what he was training for? Mountain climbing! It was just so incredible. He had such a beautiful spirit, a beautiful smile.”
USO President Sloan D. Gibson, who President Barack Obama nominated Sept. 10 to be the next deputy secretary of veterans affairs, noted that all of the items being packed were specifically requested by troops.
“We know, because we survey regularly,” he said. “We know what they need, and we make those [things] available to them. When our troops come off of the line wounded, injured or ill, … typically they show up with generally nothing more than the uniforms on their backs.”
Each warrior care pack included short- and long-sleeved shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, tearaway pants, underwear, socks, shower shoes, fleece blankets and hygiene kits with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving gel and other toiletries.
Biden said the items are based on requests from wounded warriors, and expressed gratitude to everyone who pitched in to help.
“We have all the items that [were] requested, I think, from wounded warriors and so you are packing exactly what they want,” she said. “Once again, thank you for being here, and I truly appreciate it. Our troops truly appreciate it.”
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