Michelle Obama, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kerry Washington Join Forces to Support Veterans
Just in time for Memorial Day, Glamour Magazine’s May issue cover brings together an all-star team of women who are dedicated to improving the lives of our veterans. Michelle Obama, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kerry Washington stand together on behalf of the men and women who serve our country in the military.
While they might seem like a surprising trio, each woman has a personal experience with the military: Kerry Washington’s father, Earl, served before she was born, while SJP has friends in uniform. In 2011, Michelle Obama collaborated with Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden to launch Joining Forces, a program that works with the public and private sectors to ensure success for America’s military and their families.
In the Glamour interview, the three touched on the challenges that particularly women in the military face. Sarah Jessica Parker said, “I feel like there’s a laundry list of issues they face…. Being a working mother, serving, returning from Iraq or Afghanistan—I almost don’t know where to begin…. And I feel intimidated by their service; I feel ashamed that I haven’t served. So I almost feel like I’m patronizing by inquiring how to help. When you see a serviceman or -woman, you always—I always—say, “Thank you for your service.” But you know that’s not enough…. What do we do? Every community has a community of veterans. Where do we begin?”
Michelle Obama recommended starting local: “Start in your community. Most of what these men and women need is people in their backyard lending a helping hand.” She also talked about the importance of destigmatizing mental health help, to which Kerry Washington agreed. Washington talks publicly about the fact that she goes to therapy, and she reiterated to Glamour: I say that publicly because I think it's really important to take the stigma away from mental health.... My brain and my heart are really important to me. I don't know why I wouldn't seek help to have those things be as healthy as my teeth. I go to the dentist. So why wouldn't I go to a shrink?”
While supporting veterans as they face obstacles when they come home, the three also urged people to celebrate soldier success: “These are some of the best-trained people in our society,” Obama said, and Washington added: “They aren’t broken; they are heroes. They have extraordinary discipline, courage, and capacity—that’s what we can focus on.”