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Michelle Obama pays tribute to military caregivers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama on Wednesday recognized the “quiet courage” of family members who serve “right alongside” wounded warriors when they take on duties as caregivers.

Mrs. Obama said the selfless stories of about 1 million caregivers often go unnoticed, though the country is aware of service members who are awarded for their combat and bravery.

“We want to show you that you’re not alone in this journey — because here in America, caring for our wounded warriors cannot be a one-person assignment,” Mrs. Obama said. “It’s a solemn obligation for our entire country to be there for you.”

The first lady spoke Wednesday at the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s Hidden Heroes Coalition Summit, which honors military and veteran caregivers.

Mrs. Obama announced new commitments from the foundation and the nonprofit organization Give an Hour to partner with Easter Seals to create webinars informing the public about the five signs of emotional suffering.

The foundation and nonprofit have also committed to training faith leaders on those signs, and educating community mental health care providers on military culture.

The first lady said caregivers often deal with mental health challenges, marriage strains, job instability and friends and family who don’t understand.

She helped launch the coalition with public and private partners last year. Mrs. Obama is a longtime advocate for veterans, service members and military families through her Joining Forces initiative.

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