First Lady Michelle Obama, while speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative on Thursday, encouraged international organizations to engage military veterans and their spouses in their various endeavors, according to a feature on the Navy Times. The First Lady expressed that the skills of these veterans are “woefully underutilized.”
The CGI is hosted by former President Bill Clinton, and is an annual gathering of business, government and non-profit leaders who pledge to financially support development projects worldwide. The First Lady spoke during the summit’s closing section, as the former President sat on a stool nearby. The First Lady, according to the feature, has worked at length with military families, and took the opportunity to bring their interests to the high-powered audience.
Mrs. Obama shared: “This issue may seem too uniquely American in scope for such a global audience here at CGI… But right now, the human potential of America’s veterans and military families is both vast and woefully underutilized.”
The First Lady spoke about the fact that some service members find it difficult to transition back to civilian life, and among their worries is the difficulty that they encounter in finding jobs. The irony there is that veterans are highly-skilled individuals; it is just that these skills are not recognized in the civilian world.
The First Lady went on to say: “America’s servicemen and women are resilient, so they don’t always show it. And they’re proud, so they don’t always talk about it. But it’s hard to spend years serving your country, only to find that the value of that service isn’t fully understood.”