Fayetteville, NC–home to the ‘World’s First Sanctuary for Soldiers’ and Ft. Bragg, the largest military installation in the U.S.–welcomed the First Lady into their community on Thursday, March 12. Mrs. Obama was in town to meet with soldiers, their families and the local volunteers that support them. Mrs. Obama described Fayetteville as “a model community when it comes to taking care of military families.”
The highlight of the day came during a late-afternoon address at the Fayetteville Arts Council when the First Lady affirmed the mission statement of the Army’s Army. “Fayetteville clearly does watch over those who watch over us,” said Mrs. Obama to the enthusiastic crowd. With the mission statement, “to watch over those who watch over us” the Army’s Army boasts over 900 citizen and business volunteers who have pledged their moral, physical and spiritual support to those in the military and their families.
John Meroski, Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO and Army’s Army member said, “This community does everything it can to make soldiers and their families feel like the heroes they are. Organizations like the Army’s Army prove it every day.” Mrs. Obama acknowledged the special relationship between the military and the citizens of Cumberland County. “You have found ways to help strengthen families under great stress. You’ve found ways to make life fun for children who wake up and go to sleep worried about their moms and dads.
The First Lady’s visit falls on the heels of some recent national publicity the community received. After visiting the World’s First Sanctuary Community for Soldiers and witnessing the World’s Largest Military Baby Shower and a Card Signing event for wounded soldiers, TIME magazine named Fayetteville “the most Pro-Military city in America.” Mayor Anthony G. Chavonne said, “Having the First Lady visit our Sanctuary community and recognizing the type of military support we’ve been giving soldiers and their families for decades is incredibly gratifying.”