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Michelle Obama visits VA Central Office 204 | by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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Michelle Obama visits VA Central Office 204

Michelle Obama visits VA Central Office

First Lady Michelle Obama made the 12th stop on her tour of federal agencies and departments when she visited VA Central Office on Oct. 20 to thank employees for their hard work and dedication to serving veterans.


Speaking to a gathering of employees, Obama joked about having to be driven the two blocks from the White House to VACO instead of simply walking across Lafayette Park.


Obama was introduced by VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, and joined onstage by several long-serving department employees: William R. Bremby; Patricia J. Covington; Dorothy Dillard; James S. McCain; David P. McLaughlin; Loretta R. Rocko; Ralph L. Taylor; Marilyn Twombly; and Al Zanella.


?One of the reasons why I do this is because so often federal employees feel underappreciated,? Obama said. ?You often get a lot of the blame but sometimes none of the thanks. And my simple job is to say thank you, because the job that you do is a big one.?


Noting that the President realizes his efforts are only as strong as the people on his team, the First Lady added that ?it?s just important for you to know that the President and I are proud of you, just as proud as we are of the men and women who serve this country, the people that you serve. And we just urge you to keep it up.?


After she finished speaking, Obama shook hands and posed for photos with employees; earlier, she greeted a larger group of employees who had gathered in a basement conference room to watch the event, which was broadcast live on VA?s television network. It was also live-streamed, and available to employees around the nation via satellite and closed captioning capabilities.

(VA photo by Robert Turtil)

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Taken on October 20, 2009