MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Several Minnesota military families got special recognition from the first lady, Michelle Obama, when she visited the Twin Cities to meet with them.

Mrs. Obama participated in a roundtable discussion. She and Dr. Jill Biden selected a handful of Minnesota groups because of their commitment to service.

“It’s so important to shine a spotlight on what you all are doing, and that’s what Joining Forces is all about,” she told the group.

She arrived at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport at about 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon. She got the spotlight, including a meet-and-great from leaders and a warm welcome from several Minnesota military families. In the first lady’s shadow was a grieving mother, Tracy Clark, from New London, Minn.

Her son, Ryane, was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his vehicle in Afghanistan. He was 22-years-old.

“I did everything I could to hold back the tears,” she said, following her time with Mrs. Obama.

She told Mrs. Obama her son’s service. She also voiced her story of sadness.

“People need to know there are a lot of Gold Star families out there suffering,” Clark said.

She feels they’re forgotten. Clark wants Gold Star license plates displayed at the driver’s license offices.

“I want it displayed so that people know,” she said. “They see my license plate, and they have no clue what that means. It says ‘Gold Star families’ on there. What’s a Gold Star family?”

Mrs. Obama was attentive, listening to military families and the heads of groups that support them.

“In addition to encouraging individuals and organizations to do great things, is to highlight the good work that’s happening,” she told the group. “You’re doing me a favor. You’re educating me. You’re educating the nation. I’m grateful to you all, grateful for the sacrifices you all make.”

Mrs. Obama told the table that they should be proud of how they’re helping. She met with the group for about an hour. She’d like to find ways to take Minnesota’s best practices and replicate them nationally.

Representatives from Serving Our Troops and those from several groups that were finalists in the Joining Forces Initiative were on hand. They include the Armed Forces Service Center, Defending the Blue Line and GreenCare for Troops.

“She was grateful and said we will work on that,” said Clark, speaking about what Mrs. Obama said in regards to her idea. “And I said, ‘Awesome.'”

Clark felt encouraged. Although she’ll never stop grieving for her son, she said she felt different for a moment.

“I’m happy,” she said.

She left stronger, knowing someone important cares.

Comments (20)
  1. big banjo says:

    boy the brown nosers come out in force when this person shows up……GIVE ME A BREAK…..SHE IS JUST ANOTHER PERSON…….you people grovel at her feet just because of her position and title when in fact she is no different than anybody else………….did you all lick her shoes too?.

    1. Ruth says:

      People show respect for her as our First Lady. It is protocal as well as respect for a good person who genuinely cares about Military Families. She wants them to know that they and their families are important to the President and to our country. After all, the families of our military have sacrificed for the rest of us. I am incouraged that she was here on her mission to make changes to inhance, expand and start programs to make life better for those who keep us safe.

    2. ss says:

      A git-r-done that needs to get an Education in Civility, Chivalry, and Protocols.

      1. oscar ulloa says:

        How dare you …this is the real america …don’t tread on us or whatever they say…..
        (Sarcastic tone here)

    3. nightbarowl says:

      plus she’s a racist biatch

  2. Robert says:

    She’s campaigning, pure and simple. Probably on the taxpayers’ dime. Photo ops and PR. She and her husband, deep down, hate the military. Witness how the members of the military are abused with so many multiple overseas deployments that they become deranged and commit crimes. They return home to find their jobs gone, their families broken. Who is responsible for these abuses and destroying our military? The would-be Commander-in-Chief.

    1. Michele says:

      Robert, you don’t really know how they feel deep down. And the First Lady has been working with military families since the beginning of her husband’s term. I am certainly not going to argue about the abuse of the military. I agree, one hundred percent. But you can’t put all of that on the current president. Even with the current legislation running through the Capitol in regard to banning insider trading among members of Congress, from what I understand, the ban excludes profit made in time of war. Now, I wonder why?

    2. Kman says:

      Robert You Don’t have a clue like Most Republicans The Jobs were Gone from your Beloved Bush that thought it would Be a Good Idea to Send theseYoung Men into Iraq to Die For WMD How well did that work out for ya Moron

  3. kevin says:

    Piece of garbage!

    1. KKKevin says:

      Yes Kevin… you are.
      By the way… aren’t you late for your Klan meeting?

      1. Tommy Solo says:

        Kkkevin aren’t you late for your comunist meeting?!! All your comrades are wondering where you are. Ya I know those meetings are kinda depressing now with communism proven to be such a major failure around the world.

  4. Pat says:

    This is not te story for these comments. Show respect.

    My condolences to the Danielle’s of fallen soldiers. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. m says:

    Show some respect to our First Lady.
    How old ru Robert, big banjo? TWO !!!

    1. nocure says:

      yeah respect her right into hell with her socialist bast*rd hubby

  6. Babsi says:

    Whether you think it’s political or not, she can help make a difference. Read the story and realize it’s about Gold Star families. Show them some love and support. Thanks to all that do show them support. I was at a Twins game with 3 families who had lost their sons in the war. They lost their sons but never their love for our country. I am a military member who will risk my life so you can make stupid comments. You have the right to them but I really wish you would think first.

  7. Jim says:

    May God bless and comfort Tracy Clark and her family. Her son is a Hero. This may not be the place for some of the above comments, but speaking as an Army veteran disabled for life , the people and organization deserve to be recognized for their sacrifices and service. As for the First Lady, well for someone who was never proud of her country until her husband was elected President, she deserves all the negative comments that come her way for trying to capitalize on the grief and blood of others.

  8. sgt snorkle says:

    It would have been helpful if the article answered the question “What is a Gold Star Family?”

  9. ipmutt says:

    Michell, go home, but leave us our salt.

  10. Ace says:

    I remember during World War !! gold star families hung gold stars in their windows for all to see. I had forgotten all about it until now.

  11. oscar ulloa says:

    The name said it all: big banjo…..yep