First Lady Praises Businesses’ Contributions to Joining Forces Campaign

Veterans’ employment campaign reaches goal early.

First Lady Michelle Obama congratulated Americans and U.S. businesses for enabling Joining Forces, the campaign to help hire veterans and their spouses, to surpass its goal to hire 50,000 and instead announced its 60,000th hire on April 12.

The First Lady made the announcement in Shreveport, La.

“Whenever we have asked Americans to step up, no matter who we were talking to, they have gone above and beyond our expectations—just above and beyond,” said the First Lady in prepared comments.  “And I want these veterans to understand that.   America is stepping up in big ways.”

Mrs. Obama pointed to U.S. businesses as leading the charge to hire veterans and their spouses.  “America’s businesses have overwhelmed us with their response,” said Obama.  The First Lady specifically noted the International Franchise Association with its pledge of 80,000 hires, which is part of VetFran’s Operation Enduring Opportunity initiative.  Companies such as Sears, and Snap-on Tools, along with others, have committed to hire at least 160,000 veterans and military spouses in the coming years.  “And that’s above and beyond the 60,000 that we’re talking about here today.  That’s on top of it,” said Obama.

On April 11, First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed Snap-on Tools Military Program Manager Jon Rucker to the White House as part of the Joining Forces celebration.

“We were honored to be a part of the Joining Forces celebration,” said Rucker. “The collaboration of country, community, and selfless individuals to accomplish a common good for our military families, service members and veterans was amazing.”

“The Joining Forces program parallels the VetFran Operation Enduring Opportunity initiative; both resonate the value of being a part of something ‘bigger than oneself,’” said Rucker.  “Giving back to our military community makes perfect sense and is something we are proud to support.”

“I know my words echo those of many:  I was truly humbled by the scope and grace of this event,” Rucker added.

Visit for more on the franchise industry’s activities to help veterans access careers and employment in franchising.

Posted by Laura Fenwick, IFA Publishing Manager