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First Lady announces military hiring milestone during First Coast visit

5:38 PM, Aug 22, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- First Lady Michelle Obama visited the First Coast on Wednesday to talk about a milestone reached by Joining Forces, an initiative that works to hire members of the military and their spouses.

Mrs. Obama announced that through Joining Forces, 2,000 companies have hired or trained 125,000 veterans so far, more than a year ahead of schedule, she said. 

Those companies are pledging to hire or train another 250,000 veterans, including at least 50,000 military spouses, she said.

"When you finish your service to our nation, you got 2,000 great American companies ready and willing to bring you in because the truth is they learned what you all have to offer," Mrs. Obama said.

Paul Andrews, 25, is a former sailor who served in Mayport who had the honor of introducing the First Lady.

Last February, Andrews left the Navy apprehensive on what the civilian world might bring. He landed a job with Sonardyne, allowing him to use skills he learned in the Navy doing sonar work.

"Five days ago, I was in the Gulf of Mexico working with my company in the middle of nowhere and now I'm here doing this, introducing the First Lady," said Andrews, now living in Texas doing oil field related work.

The last time she was on the First Coast, Mrs. Obama visited military families at NAS Jax in April. She and Dr. Jill Biden were there as part of a tour celebrating the first anniversary of Joining Forces.

After she leaves Mayport, she was scheduled to go to a re-election rally in Ft. Lauderdale.

This trip will be at least the fifth time Mrs. Obama has come to Florida this year.

First Coast News

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