First Lady Jill Biden meets with military spouses at Fort Carson

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — First Lady Jill Biden was at Fort Carson Thursday afternoon for an event honoring military spouses.

While at the Mountain Post, Biden delivered remarks honoring military spouses. She then met individually with about 35 spouses at the event.

“My husband had left when my youngest was only six weeks. So I had all three of them by myself for seven weeks,” said Kiley Grasee, whose husband is in the Military Police at Fort Carson.

“My husband had left when my youngest was only six weeks. So I had all three of them by myself for seven weeks,” said Kiley Grasee, whose husband is in the Military Police at Fort Carson.

There were some “Murphy’s law” moments during that stretch, including one that ended in a glued eyebrow. Grasee laughs them off now as part of the sacrifice for her husband’s dream.

“He’s always supported me in being a teacher and going to school full time. I love him enough that I want to support him and don’t want him to feel like he can’t do it so, I want to be there for him.” Grasee said.

The USO Military Spouse Connections event was held in advance of Military Spouse Appreciation Day, which is Friday.

Biden arrived at the Colorado Springs Airport around 1:30 p.m. She was greeted at the airport by Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, Rep. Doug Lamborn, Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, and Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.

Dr. Biden says the government should do better in supporting the families of its service members, whether that be childcare, mental health support, or career guidance.

“We cannot expect to retain even our most dedicated service members if they are forced to choose between their love of country and love of family,” Biden said.

When she was second lady to Joe Biden’s Vice presidency, she began the “Joining Forces” program.

Focusing on careers, mental health, and educational support for children, Biden’s goal is to ease stressors for the family not serving in the military.

“What I hate to see is the military losing valuable service members because they don’t have that choice. It’s either spouse works, or they stay in,” said Jennifer Strong, whose husband is a Colonel at Fort Carson.

Strong has made 14 moves in the span of her husband’s 24-year career. She’s an attorney and has had to pull her employer along to make some “culture changes.”

It may seem commonplace after this past year, but there was a time when Strong has to convince her employer to let her work remotely when she and her husband moved cities. Strong said it’s worked for both sides.

But, in this long time of making friends with other families and her time returning from raising kids, Strong found the struggles that face many.

Take teachers. Applying for new licenses every time a move is made can be costly and prohibitive by the length of the process. “Joining Forces” has worked with states to transfer those kinds of licenses.

“We need to do more because your service has earned nothing less,” Biden expressed.

The First Lady is on the second day of a two-day trip through Utah, Nevada, and Colorado.

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