WASHINGTON — First lady Michelle Obama appeared Wednesday on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" to plug the anniversary of her "Joining Forces" initiative designed to honor U.S. troops and their families, particularly by helping find employment for veterans returning from war.
"We have seen people hiring our veterans and finding wonderful flexible opportunities for spouses because employment is a key issue for these families," Mrs. Obama said of the program she began with Jill Biden, the vice president's wife.
Noting that unemployment for returning veterans is above the national average, she told host Stephen Colbert, "We're seeing it decrease at some pretty significant rates."
"But until we get it to zero, we still have a lot of work to do. ...These people are bringing in skills that actually improve the bottom line of companies because these are some of the most highly trained, highly skilled, disciplined people that we have in our society, the best this country has to offer. So we all need to do our part."
Colbert suggested that hiring a vet, who will have war stories to tell, "will really make the interoffice complaining sound trivial" and will be good for office morale. "It's hard to be a whiner around a veteran," Mrs. Obama agreed.
Colbert also said he was doing his part by training a Marine to do a pundit's job, teaching his student: "You are an expert at everything. It doesn't matter what the subject is. You have an opinion, and that opinion is the right one."