OCEANSIDE (CNS) - First Lady Doctor Jill Biden visited The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic in Oceanside Saturday to participate in a roundtable discussion with military family members, Cohen Veteran Network leaders and staff, and representatives of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
"We're more aware of the military when we're in times of war, but now we're in times of peace," said Dr. Biden.
Watch the roundtable discussion, which was broadcast live on the ABC 10News Facebook page below (NOTE: the feed cut out in and out some points due to a poor connection):
To open the discussion, the first lady highlighted the importance of the military in times of peace, referencing the Chinese balloon situation. The military had shot down the balloon earlier Saturday.
"This morning, if any of you were watching the TV, where they were following the, you know, the balloon from China, and we saw the effort that our military did," Biden said. "I mean, I felt such a sense of pride about the effort and that our military, you know, shot down the balloon, how coordinated it was, how thoughtful it was, that it was decided to wait until it was over water so that civilians weren't affected. So you know, it brings to mind and I hope that most Americans - I hope when they watch that they really think just, you know, about our military. I mean, Joe and I think about them every day, we pray for them in our prayers at dinner."
The visit is part of Biden's Joining Forces initiative, which supports military and veteran families, caregivers and survivors with a focus on military spouse economic opportunity, military child education and health and well-being.
“I spent years trying to figure out what was going on with me, why I couldn’t get better on my own," said Brittany, a veteran who experienced anxiety and depression, but sought treatment from the Cohen Veterans Network.
#HAPPENINGNOW First Lady Dr. Jill #Biden has just arrived at the clinic, where she’ll speak with military families about investing in their mental health. @10News https://t.co/2won6nY267 pic.twitter.com/5VWQtLarWH— Natalie Chuck KGTV (@NatalieChuck) February 4, 2023
On Friday, Biden spent about a half-hour at the Logan Heights Family Health Center Family Health Clinic, participating in a panel discussion on cancer. Biden discussed federal efforts to improve cancer screenings and early detection programs for communities with limited health care access.
"Really early detection is the key," Biden said. ``A lot of cancers are curable. You're always scared when you hear the word cancer but they don't need to be afraid like people were 10 years ago, because now things have advanced so far."
The center received a $100,000 grant in September from the Biden administration's Cancer Moonshot initiative, whose goals are cutting the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years, and improving the experience of people and their families living with and surviving cancer.
Christopher Gordon, the chief medical officer for Family Health Centers of San Diego, told The San Diego Union-Tribune the grant enables the clinic to help newly diagnosed patients make sense of their treatment options and medical trials and overcome obstacles to care.
Biden then spent 54 minutes aboard the USS Gabrielle Giffords, where she brought Oggi's pizza to the crew members of the Independence-class littoral combat ship who were on duty and unable to join her at a dinner for crew members and their families on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Kidd hosted by the Armed Services YMCA.