Thursday, July 9, 2009

"It Can Be as Simple as Saying 'Thanks'"

"It Can Be as Simple as Saying 'Thanks'"
Posted by Dr. Jill Biden
I just returned from a great trip to Germany and France and thought I would share some highlights and photos with you all.

(Sgt. Israel Bryant of the 54th Engineer Battalion, right, and wife Sabine pose for a picture with Dr. Jill Biden
during Biden's visit to U.S. military communities in Germany over the Independence Day weekend. The 54th
Engineer Battalion returned to Bamberg July 1 from a nearly 14-month long deployment to Iraq.
Photo credit US Army.)

It was truly an honor to celebrate the July 4th weekend with our soldiers at the US Army Garrisons in Bamberg and Schweinfurt in Germany. In Bamberg, I had the chance to welcome home several hundred soldiers who just returned from Iraq. It was an emotional experience and I thanked them and their families for all they do for our country. In Schweinfurt, I toured the base with soldiers and joined in the July 4th festivities which included meeting the horseshoe tournament champions, cheering on players in the softball game, and meeting many families and children. I even bumped into one of my former students from my community college in Delaware! I hope through visits like this I can do my part to raise awareness and show appreciation for our troops and their families. As a military mom myself, this is personal – but it’s also the duty of all Americans to support our troops. It can be as simple as saying "thanks."

(Dr. Jill Biden speaks with Hannah, left, and Abby Williamson, daughters of Army Chaplain (Cpt.) Donald
Williamson, during Biden's visit to U.S. military communities in Germany over the Independence
Day weekend. Photo credit US Army.)

From Germany it was on to Paris where I gave a keynote address to over 1,000 participants at the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education. As a community college professor for the past 16 years, I was thrilled to be able to speak about the community college model and its relevance on a global scale and showcase our Administration’s commitment to higher education. The reception from the audience was very warm, and many countries approached our American delegation to talk about ways they could explore similar efforts in their own regions. It’s exciting to think about community colleges playing a role in economic development around the world, and I look forward to continuing these efforts.

(copyright : ©UNESCO/Michel Ravassard)

So as you can see it was a great trip – and I truly appreciated the warmth from our hosts in both Germany and France. And now, it’s great to be home.

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