Michelle Obama held a roundtable discussion with military families and heads of local military organizations that help military families on Friday to promote her Joining Forces initiative.
Nine people took part in the discussion with Obama that lasted 45 minutes, only part of which the media attended so that they could speak freely, Minnesota Public Radio reported.
"It is so important to shine a spotlight on the work that you all are doing and that's really what Joining Forces is all about," Obama said as she opened the discussion. "We know that we live in a grateful nation and that people, when asked, will step up on behalf of our families. But I know that you guys don't always do the asking, because first of all you're just trying to get through it, you're proud, you're brave."
The organizations in attendance, according to the Star Tribune, were Defending the Blue Line, which helps military kids afford to play hockey; Serving Our Troops, which brings families together for meals during deployments; the Armed Forces Service Center, which is an oasis for military families and personnel passing through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport; and GreenCare for Troops, which offers free plowing and lawn care to military families.
Alex Homme, 13 years old and a star student from Crystal, was in attendance and his father, Erik Homme, is being deployed to Afghanistan on Sunday, the Pioneer Press reported.
"It's not easy doing what you do--keeping grades up, being on sports, and changing schools every few years and having a dad that's deploying," Obama told Alex. "That is not an easy thing to go through. And you should be proud of what you do for your family and what you do just to get through."