First lady Jill Biden will visit Fort Carson on Thursday afternoon to celebrate spouses ahead of Military Spouse Appreciation Day on Friday.
Biden will speak and meet with spouses at a USO Military Spouse Connection event, according to a Monday evening news release from the White House.
Then-President Ronald Reagan recognized the impact and importance military spouses play in readiness and well-being of troops by issuing Proclamation 5184 on April 17, 1984. Congress added Military Spouse Appreciation Day to Military Appreciation Month — May — in 1999, and it is now recognized the Friday before Mother’s Day.
“There is another group which deserves special thanks — the wives of our servicemen, wives who take care of the families and raise the children while their husbands are at sea or stationed far away, and wives who have left our shores to be in a faraway land with their husbands. … Their contribution is critical. … The understanding and encouragement they give our servicemen is something we must all be grateful for,” said then-President Ronald Reagan.
Fort Carson is home post for roughly 25,000 active-duty soldiers and about 38,000 family members, according to post data. That doesn’t include the un-totaled thousands of spouses at nearby Schriever and Peterson Air Force bases, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora and the Air Force Academy.
Biden may have her hands full while recognizing so many military spouses in such a dense military community as Colorado Springs.
Biden is planning to visit Salt Lake City and Las Vegas on Wednesday as part of a tour of several Western states.
As first lady, Biden continues working as an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College. It is believed she is the first first lady and second lady to have a job while her husband was president or vice president.
She married now-President Joe Biden in 1977, becoming mom to his sons Beau and Hunter. Beau Biden was a politician and Delaware National Guard Army officer who, as a major, worked in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps as a lawyer. He deployed to Iraq from 2008 to 2009 and died of cancer at age 46 in 2015.
As second lady from 2009-2017, Jill Biden advocated for the education of girls and women, community colleges and military families.
In April 2011 she visited Fountain Fort-Carson High School, a school of then-1,600 students just east of Fort Carson. Biden accompanied then-first lady Michelle Obama, who announced a $300,000 grant from the National Math and Science Initiative to pay for Advanced Placement programs, allowing students to test for college credit in science, math and English.
Biden also visited Colorado Springs in October 2012 and spoke to a crowd of 100 supporters at Colorado College as part of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.