First Lady Michelle Obama guest starred on CBS’s NCIS on Tuesday, where she celebrated the extent of the Obama administration’s work to help America’s veterans during a discussion with the show’s characters.
In the episode titled “Homefront,” which was written around a military family that had fallen victim to stalking and burglary, the First Lady held a roundtable discussion with veteran families in order to “stay connected” with them.
“I am so honored to have been a part of this. I still can’t believe I’m here. Listening to everyone’s stories, it made me feel like I’m not alone,” NCIS character and veteran family member Anne told Mrs. Obama during the scene.
Michelle Obama replied: “Because you’re not alone, Anne. One of the reasons we hold these round tables is to stay connected to our military families.”
Addressing Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), the First Lady continued: “Special Agent Gibbs. I’ve been briefed on everything you’ve done for Anne’s family, and from what I heard, you’ve gone above and beyond.”
After Anne thanked both Gibbs and Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces military and military families initiative — which Mrs. Obama launched in 2011 with Dr. Jill Biden — the First Lady asked her to hold her praise.
“Anne, we should be thanking you. I mean, we know the sacrifices our military families are making and it doesn’t go unnoticed,” Michelle Obama said.
Eying agent Gibbs, a former U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper, the First Lady added: “Nor do the sacrifices of our veterans.”
Watch the scene, courtesy of the Media Research Center, below:
Mark Harmon praised Michelle Obama’s acting abilities during an interview with Extra prior to the episode’s debut on Tuesday.
The actor told the entertainment program: “She’s, like, great, I mean… very real. The subject matter is close with her and it tied in with the show we were doing and she was anxious to do it and we were able to work it out.”
Despite praise from Harmon and others for Mrs. Obama’s acting abilities, “Homefront” aired as many of America’s veterans are still dying while waiting for essential VA health care.
Last spring, President Obama attended a similar roundtable with American veterans in Phoenix, Arizona, where he assured them: “It’s important that veterans know that somebody’s got their backs, and that, if there are problems, that we’re not being defensive about it, not hiding it.”
A year later, veterans waiting for lifesaving medical care at VA hospitals across the country are still suffering through extended wait times, improper scheduling practices, budget mismanagement, and an overall lack of accountability, despite the statement from the president, who made VA reforms part of his 2008 presidential campaign platform.
CNN first reported in 2014 that at least 19 veterans had died because of delays in simple medical screenings like colonoscopies and/or endoscopies, at VA hospitals and clinics across the country. Last September, the cable news giant reported as many as 307,000 vets might have died while waiting for medical care:
In one case, a veteran who applied for VA care in 1998 was placed in “pending” status for 14 years. Another veteran who passed away in 1988 was found to have an unprocessed record lingering in 2014, the investigation found.
As Breitbart’s John Hayward noted after President Obama said “we’ve made strides” during his State of the Union remarks in January: “Ritual declarations of love for veterans by politicians do not obscure the reality of a titanic government that demands an ever-growing share of our national wealth but does not at all seem to care about its responsibilities to people who put their lives on the line for us, until scandals erupt like volcanoes.”