Pic of the Week: Eskin Lecture Recognizes Military Service

Dr. Jill Biden joins young-adult author Michael Grant, U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Rebecca Murga and U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kristen Hansen in a conversation during the Jonah Solkoff Eskin Memorial program. Photo by Shawn Miller.

Dr. Jill Biden joins young-adult author Michael Grant, U.S. Army Reserve Capt. Rebecca Murga and U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kristen Hansen in a conversation during the Jonah Solkoff Eskin Memorial program. Photo by Shawn Miller.

Dr. Jill Biden joined young-adult author Michael Grant and two female combat soldiers in conversation, comparing and contrasting real and imagined events in World War II with 21st-century combat and military life, in the Library of Congress’ annual Jonah Solkoff Eskin Memorial program on Monday. Monday was also the 72nd anniversary of WWII’s D-Day landing on the beaches of Normandy.

“I am a military mom,” said Biden, wife of Vice President Joseph Biden, as she opened the interviews. “Our son Bo
was deployed to Iraq in 2008.” She said she and first lady Michelle Obama have made a priority of being a sounding board for the nation’s military families.

Many of the middle-school and high-school-age students knew someone in the military, and many came from families with a deployed parent.

Biden interviewed author Michael Grant, whose latest book, “Front Lines,” imagines women fighting alongside men in World War II following a fictional Supreme Court ruling making women eligible for combat. She also spoke with Lt. Cmdr. Kristen Hansen, a Navy fighter pilot with 66 combat sorties over Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria and 472 carrier landings, and Army Capt. Rebecca Murga, who received the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal for her service.

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