First lady makes 9/11 visit to Virginia USO center

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama drew a pair of construction paper hands for a project with military children during a 9/11 visit to a USO center at the Army’s Fort Belvoir.

The first lady said she wanted to highlight the organization’s work on behalf of wounded service members and their families.

The USO Warrior and Family Center opened in February at the Army installation in Virginia, just south of Washington. The USO says it’s the largest ever to support wounded troops, their families and others by providing relaxation, home-cooked meals, kids’ playrooms and other support.

Mrs. Obama helped children complete banners decorated with cutouts of handprints for a rock concert Wednesday night. She was joined by actor Gary Sinise, a USO supporter whose “Lt. Dan Band” was performing at the event. Sinise played the character “Lt. Dan” in the movie “Forrest Gump.”

Mrs. Obama also brought along cookies shaped like the family’s new Portuguese water dog, Sunny.

Afterward, she toured the Intrepid Spirit center, also at Fort Belvoir. The facility was dedicated Wednesday and provides outpatient care to service members and veterans with traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions.

She met privately with wounded service members and their families and participated in a round-table discussion with caregivers.

Mrs. Obama traveled to Fort Belvoir after observing a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, his wife, Jill, and White House staff members.

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