First Lady Michelle Obama visited several families Monday at Naval Support Activity Bethesda’s (NSAB) Fisher House No. 4 to celebrate the upcoming Easter holiday.
Toting a large basket filled with cookies made by the White House pastry chefs, Obama talked with each family around brightly decorated tables where children were crafting Easter cards. The Obama’s two Portuguese Water Dogs, Sunny and Bo, accompanied the First Lady on her trip to the Fisher House.
Obama visits the Fisher Houses annually to celebrate the work of the Fisher House Foundation bringing Easter spirit to military kids and to support their families affected by difficult circumstances.
“I just want to recognize all the great things that the Fisher House staff does here,” said Obama. “I know that they give you guys a home away from home when you are going through some of the toughest times in your life. It’s nice to be able to come to a beautiful facility like this where I know the staff is so warm and comforting to you.”
There are five Fisher Houses onboard NSAB, the most of any Department of Defense installation. The homes offer 73 private rooms at no cost for family members of patients recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Army Spc. Julio Garcia and his wife Briccely reside in one of the Fisher Houses while their daughter Sophia, 3, receives treatment for leukemia.
“We really appreciate events like this so we don’t have to think about things for a while,” Briccely said. “Things would be a lot harder if we didn’t have the Fisher House.”
Along with the handmade treats and her pets, Obama brought along tickets for all of the families to attend the White House’s annual Easter Egg Roll scheduled for April 21. Approximately 30,000 people will converge on the South Lawn of the White House for the event that includes egg rolling, live music, food, and face painting. This year’s theme is “Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape” in support of Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative.
Obama visited with families for approximately an hour, talking with the children about their crafts and conversing with their parents.
“This is the best part of my day, to be with so many great families. I get to shine a light on our military families and especially the kids because you are our heroes,” Obama said. “You make your parents’ lives so wonderful which helps them do the job that they are supposed to do. I know your parents couldn’t do this without you. The president and I are so proud of you all.”