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Jill Biden tours Whidbey Island naval air station

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First lady Jill Biden speaks during a tour of the new children's museum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in Washington state. Biden also visited with military families during her visit. (AP Photo/Ted S.
First lady Jill Biden speaks during a tour of the new children's museum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in Washington state. Biden also visited with military families during her visit. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, Pool) Photo Gallery

NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND — First lady Jill Biden arrived at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island late Tuesday morning, part of her tour of military bases to meet with service families.

She got a close look at a US Navy EA-18G “Growler” electronic warfare attack warcraft, talking with Naval personnel. The jet tail was painted red with the insignia of the “Scorpions” squadron.

Among those on hand to greet the first lady was Capt. Matthew Arny, commanding officer of the base.

Biden arrived in Washington Monday and visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The visits are part of Biden’s push to hear about the challenges military families face and the support they need.

Before her remarks on Whidbey Island, Arny spoke about the struggles of the past year, including the pandemic and deployments of many aviators at the base.

Biden spoke in a large conference room with a social distanced group of Navy personnel, spouses and media.

She spoke about her father, who was a Navy signalman in World War II and said military service was crucial for their family. Her father was able to go to business school on the GI bill and eventually became a bank manager, while his wife stayed home and raised five daughters. “And that was my family’s American Dream,” Biden said.

But too often, she said, “this community faces roadblocks along the way.”

She touted a program she worked on in the Obama administration with Michelle Obama, called “Joining Forces,” aimed at supporting military families. Biden is relaunching that program as a part of her current tour of military bases.

“I’ve met so many families whose devotion to this this country is unshakeable,” she said, pointing to families frequent moves and change careers and schools “so that their loved ones can keep us safe.”

On Wednesday, Biden will visit Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California.

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