Jill Biden uses art display to teach about military children

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Artwork by military-connected children is on display along the public tour route in the White House in Washington, Friday, April 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON – Jill Biden hopes a temporary art exhibit at the White House helps educate visitors about the lives of military children.

April is the Month of the Military Child and the first lady had the art installed as part of Joining Forces, her White House initiative to support military and veteran families, caregivers and survivors.

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The display of 10 mini “suitcases” designed by military and veteran children reflects their lives of frequent moves. Some of the cases are adorned with depictions of the flags of the countries they have lived in as a result of their parent's deployment.

It was inspired by “My Military Suitcase,” a poem written by a fourth grader from a U.S. Marine Corps family that was featured in a similar exhibit last year.

Biden is the daughter and mother of military service members and she often notes that military children also serve even though they aren't in uniform.

“It's my hope that this beautiful art installation helps White House visitors better understand and appreciate the unique experiences of the children who serve alongside U.S. service members and veterans.,” the first lady said in a statement.

There are more than 2 million military-connected children of active-duty service members, National Guard or reservists, or veterans, the White House said. They move an average of six to nine times during their K-12 education, and change schools three times more than their civilian peers.

The exhibit will remain on display in the East Wing through the end of the month.

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