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Michelle Obama visits Veterans Affairs Dept.

By Ed O'Keefe

Michelle Obama speaks to staff members of the Department of Veteran's in Washington on Tuesday. (Photo by Reuters)

First Lady Michelle Obama traveled just two blocks Tuesday as she made the 12th stop on her tour of federal agencies and departments.

"I did not walk," she joked with the crowd. "It always seems so strange to ride around the block and get out of the car, but then I look at all the people who would -- we have to shut down just for me to walk across the park."

"One of the reasons why I do this is because so often federal employees feel under-appreciated," she 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."

Millions of veterans and their families rely on the department's roughly 300,000 employees for health care and other education and economic benefits. Obama made the concerns of military families an early priority and continues to meet with military spouses and veterans on a regular basis.

"I really cherish those visits because it gives me a chance to say thank you to them, but it gives me a chance to assure our servicemembers and their families that we are committed to their needs," she said.

The VA headquarters on Vermont Ave. NW serves as the backdrop for a farmer's market Obama helped inaugurate in September.

The first lady was flanked onstage by VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki and several long-serving department employees (listed below).

Veterans Affairs Employees On Stage With Mrs. Obama:

Name Job Title and Office Years of Service
Marilyn Twombly Office of Management 32
Patricia J. Covington Congressional Liaison Service 40
James S. McCain Office of Acquisition and Logistics, Publications Service 44
Al Zanella Office of Facilities and Acquisitions Not Available
Dorothy Dillard Office of Civil Rights 45
David P. McLaughlin Motor Vehicle Operator 28
Ralph L. Taylor Logistics Support Services 19
William R Bremby Office of Administration 21
Loretta R. Rocko Office of Acquisition and Logistics 20

Source: Dept. of Veterans Affairs

By Ed O'Keefe  | October 20, 2009; 6:15 PM ET
Categories:  Administration  
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Isn't it just wonderful how Michelle can speak to the plight of veterans when she shuttled off the poor and uninsured to clinics, while retaining the insured for Chicago University Medical Center, when she was on their Board. Shame on you Mochelle!! You are a fake just like your husband.

Posted by: jemvbcarmagh06 | October 20, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Bravo Mrs. Obama! Thank you for recognizing federal workers who are more often disparaged in the media than praised. I'm not privileged to work for my government, but many of my family and friends put in long hours at wages lower than they'd earn out in the commercial world. They keep our country running, support our military and keep us safe.

Posted by: kbockl | October 20, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

The Obama's are phonies

Posted by: dashriprock | October 20, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I saw a news clip of Michelle Obama getting off Marine One and if her butt gets any bigger they are going to have to start using a heavy lift helo with a cargo ramp.

Posted by: fenoy | October 20, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

These VA folks are the absolute worst type of people. These human-sloths hybrids deny Veteran disability claims for ridiculous reasons just so they can throw them into an appeals system that normally lasts for years, in hopes that the Veteran dies before receiving any benefit. They actually seem to hate Veterans.

All these cretins standing on this stage even refuse to give Veteran-own companies a fair chance at winning VA contracts, preferring to give their business to large companies at twice the cost. And the First Lady and her husband embrace this government-wide process of Veteran-exclusion.

Posted by: question-guy | October 20, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

By and large, federal employees are wonderfull people, otherwise most unremarkable, intellectually lethargic, insulated and overpaid. The remainder are mostly corrupt, ambitious, petty tyrannical bureaucrats.

Posted by: shootndribble | October 21, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

40 years or more. Retire you greedy SOB's and make room for some young man or women that need the job.30 years,your familys are raised and gone it time for you to step aside. I see to many people in government and state run jobs that plan to die in them. Sure its the greatest job in the world but do you have the right to block it from another? Thank you for your service but

Posted by: lngshirt | October 21, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

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