DNC: Michelle Obama kicks off community service day | VailDaily.com

DNC: Michelle Obama kicks off community service day

Isaac Wolf
Rocky Mountain News
Vail, CO Colorado
Preston Gannaway/Rocky Mountain NewsMichelle Obama and her daughters help stuff care packages for troops abroad.

DENVER, Colorado ” At another event to solidify her image as patriotic, Michelle Obama kicked off the convention’s public service day by stuffing military care packages with sleeves of Oreo cookies and copies of Maxim magazine.

“I have dedicated years of my life to national service,” Obama said.

From graffiti removal to serving meals, delegates spread across Denver today to contribute to the community.

Obama spoke to war veterans at the event in Curtis park, and Iraq veteran and Illinois politician Tammy Duckworth — who has two prosthetic legs — appeared at the morning conference.

Duckworth, who directs Illinois’ department of Veterans’ Affairs, is rumored to be a contender to replace Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate if the Illinois Democrat wins in November.

More than 1,000 delegates are volunteering today, serving meals, planting trees and building a new playground, according to the Democratic National Convention Committee.

At the soldier gift box event, volunteers were asked to include a pledge with the care packages, promising to engage in community service when they return to their homes.

“We’re going to make a commitment today to doing something beyond today,” Michelle Obama said.

She joinged volunteers packing boxes with items including Maxim magazine, Oreo cookies and Gillette deodorant.

Discussing the importance of volunteering, Obama reiterated her husband’s proposal to provide education financial assistance in exchange for volunteer work.

“Wouldn’t that be a wonderful exchange?” she said.

Organizing the event was Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, which lobbies on behalf of soldiers. The group, which has not endorsed either candidate, plans to hold a similar event at the Republican convention next week, spokesman Patrick Campbell said.

Randa Bronson, from Macon, Ga., is a military wife who attended the care package event. Her husband, Staff Sgt. Michael Bronson, is serving in Iraq, and the couple have three children.

She supports Obama because she likes his policies. “His plan to withdraw troops from Iraq is a wonderful breath of fresh air when for so long there has not been an end in sight,” she said.

Bronson wants the military to provide better health care and for soldiers to have more time at home in between tours. After serving for 15 months, her husband had eight months home. “That’s ridiculous,” Bronson said.

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