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First Lady Invites Guard, Reserve Kids to Fitness Event

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2011 – Alongside about 80 children of National Guardsman and reservists, First Lady Michelle Obama showed off her dance moves and football-handling prowess yesterday during a Let’s Move fitness and nutrition event for military families on the White House’s South Lawn.

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First Lady Michelle Obama shows off her dance moves for National Guard and Reserve teens at a fitness and nutrition event on the White House's South Lawn, May 9, 2011. During the event, the first lady announced a new fitness industry effort to support military families, particularly Guard and Reserve families. DOD photo by Elaine Sanchez

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The first lady invited the kids to “get going” at fitness stations -- led by members of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition – posted across the lawn. With the teens cheering her on, she danced to Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair,” hopped through hula hoops in an obstacle course, practiced a few lunges, and took a few minutes to toss a football.

But before she got moving, the first lady first took time to spotlight two of her “top priorities” -- kids’ health and wellness and military families.

Military families, she noted in brief opening remarks, “are truly the force behind the force.” Over this past decade, she said, the nation has relied on its servicemembers and their families more than ever before.

“You might not be in uniform, but we all know that all of you make the same, if not more, of the sacrifice,” she told the families in attendance. “We know that when our troops serve, you all serve. It’s time we started doing everything as a country that we can do to show our gratitude for your contributions to this nation.”

That intent, she said, is what drove her and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, to start the Joining Forces military family support campaign. This national initiative calls on all sectors of society -- from citizens and communities, to businesses and nonprofit groups -- to support military families.

“It’s an effort to rally the entire country -- every American -- to recognize, honor and support all of our military families,” she said. “It is incumbent upon all of us to step up in some way to make sure these families know that we’re proud of them.”

As part of this initiative, the first lady unveiled three new Let’s Move commitments specifically designed for military kids and teens.

Members of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition have committed to doing a special series of events and outreach with military families across the country, Obama said, citing a few upcoming examples.

Championship NASCAR driver Carl Edwards will visit military bases in connection with his weekly races, and former New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, along with a team of wounded warriors, will start climbing Mount Kilimanjaro today.

Additionally, the International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association will offer free memberships to immediate family members of actively deployed National Guard and Reserve members, she said. Starting June 1, people can log onto the Let’s Move website at to find a club in their area and sign up for free.

Also for these families, the American Council on Exercise has agreed to provide at least 1 million hours of free personal training and fitness instruction. Obama pointed out her own personal trainer in the crowd, noting that he’s the one responsible for her famously toned arms.

Obama encouraged military families to visit the Let’s Move website to learn more about these initiatives.


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Related Sites:
Special Report: Joining Forces
AFPS Family Matters Blog
Photo Essay

Click photo for screen-resolution imageFirst Lady Michelle Obama announces a new fitness industry effort to support military families at the White House, May 9, 2011. After her remarks, the first lady and a group of about 80 National Guard and Reserve teens tried out several fitness and nutrition stations posted across the South Lawn. DOD photo by Elaine Sanchez  
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