Jill Biden concluded her three-part tour of West Coast military installations on Wednesday with a visit to the US Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California – where she joked about almost suffering a wardrobe malfunction.
The first lady touched down at Lance Cpl Torrey Gray Park just before noon and stepped off an Osprey helicopter wearing a knee-length frock, Stubbs and Wootton slippers and a Veronica Beard jacket.
Biden fought to keep the hem of the dress from flying up in the wind as she made her way across the park.
She addressed the near-mishap during remarks to military spouses at the Brass & Rockers officers and staff club on the base.
‘Note to self, next time I come to the desert, no skirt,’ Biden told the socially-distanced group, according to the Deseret News.
Jill Biden concluded her three-part tour of West Coast military installations with a visit to the US Marine Corp Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, on Wednesday (pictured)
The first lady touched down at Lance Cpl Torrey Gray Park just before noon and stepped off an Osprey helicopter
Biden fought to keep the hem of her knee-length frock from flying up in the wind as she made her way across the park to the Child Development Center on the base. She paired the dress with Stubbs and Wootton slippers and a Veronica Beard jacket
Biden also touted the news that her husband’s $1.9trillion coronavirus relief bill had passed the House earlier in the day and said he would be signing it on Friday.
Prior to meeting with the spouses, Biden visited the new Child Development Center on the base.
When she walked into the center she was welcomed by a chorus of 14 pre-school children who cheered: ‘Good morning, first lady!’
‘Good morning. Nice to see you all,’ a smiling Biden replied from behind her mask, adding: ‘Call me Jill, please.’
She walked around and talked to the children about their craft projects before departing for her second stop.
When she walked into the Child Development Center Biden was greeted by a chorus of 14 pre-school children
Biden walked around and talked to the children about their craft projects
Biden looks on as children play at the Child Development Center at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
Biden’s second stop at the base was the Brass & Rockers officers and staff club, where she delivered brief remarks
Biden joked about the wind that almost caused a wardrobe malfunction upon her arrival, telling six military spouses: ‘Note to self, next time I come to the desert, no skirt’
Twentynine Palms was Biden’s final stop on her two-day tour of military bases in California and Washington ahead of her relaunch of Joining Forces, the program supporting military families that she and former first lady Michelle Obama started in 2011 when she was second-lady to then-Vice President Joe Biden.
‘These visits are part of the first lady’s ongoing efforts to listen and learn directly from military families about the unique challenges they are facing and the support they need, especially during the pandemic,’ Biden’s office said in a press release before the trip.
Twentynine Palms was Biden’s final stop on her two-day tour of bases in California and Washington ahead of her relaunch of Joining Forces. She is seen during the first stop at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington, on Tuesday
The first visit was to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington, where she was joined by Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday morning.
Speaking to military families, Biden joked that she was still on East Coast time and had been up since 4.30am.
But, she added, she enjoyed watching the sunrise come up over the mountains – Mount Rainier and the Cascade Range are in the Tacoma area where the first lady spent the night.
Biden highlighted the relaunch of her Joining Forces program, which she described as a ‘nationwide initiative to support our service members, veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors’ that is ‘focused on three areas, employment, education, and wellness’.
Accompanied by Gov Inslee, she visited a children’s museum for military families where she saw several exhibits designed to stimulate a child’s sense.
She checked out the Invention Space, which included a spaceship crawl jungle play structure with slides rimmed with LED lights, and a sensory room with water exhibits.
And then she saw the Calm Room, a quiet space for children with disabilities. A staff member explained they have a large amount of children on the autism spectrum, one of the largest amounts in the country, at the base.
Jill Biden walks with Tanya Durand, right, executive director of the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, as part of her tour of military bases ahead of her Joining Forces relaunch
Jill Biden views a water activity table at the new children’s museum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington
Biden’s next stop was Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Washington, on Tuesday afternoon.
She got a closeup look at a US Navy EA-18G ‘Growler’ electronic warfare attack warcraft. The jet tail was painted red with the insignia of the ‘Scorpions’ squadron.
She also watched a Navy helicopter fly by with the mountains visible in the distance.
As she did in Tacoma, Biden met with a small group of military families to talk about Joining Forces.
‘We certainly never imagined how a global pandemic might affect circumstances, ranging from access to childcare to having a safe place to live, to keeping food on your table, to building a career,’ Biden said.
‘The men and the women of our armed forces can’t be at their best when they are worried that their families are struggling.’
The first lady has made military families, children and education her priorities in her first six weeks in her new role.
She has hit the ground running, holding virtual events with military children around the world, and making solo trips to promote her issues, including visiting a cancer center in Richmond, Virginia, and schools that have reopened in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Jill Biden gets a tour of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island as part of her relaunch of Joining Forces
The first lady got a closeup look at a US Navy EA-18G ‘Growler’ electronic warfare attack warcraft with its tail painted red with the Scorpions logo