First lady Michelle Obama, with actor Gary Sinise, visit USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir, Va., toting basket of dog-shaped cookies, on 12th anniversary of Sept. 11 attacks.
(Photo: Jacquelyn Martin AP)
Toting a basket of cookies shaped like her new dog Sunny, first lady Michelle Obama today joined activist actor Gary Sinise on a visit to a new USO family center just outside Washington, D.C.
"Guess what I brought you guys - what do you think is in this basket? Cookies!" Mrs. O exclaimed on greeting a clutch of kids, according to the White House transcript. "I want that one!" a child cried as everybody laughed.
"And you know what these cookies are? This is our new puppy. We have a new puppy at the White House, her name is Sunny. And the White House pastry chefs made cookies for all of you guys with Sunny and some other fun stuff in here."
This is a favorite Obama gift - cookies shaped like doggies. In previous years, it was the family's first Portuguese waterdog, Bo; now it's another Portuguese waterdog, Sunny, a female who's about a year old and looks just like Bo.
Obama has made supporting military families one of her key projects as first lady. Sinise, the CSI: New York star, has, too, ever since he played Lt. Dan in 1994'sForrest Gump.
Together they paid a visit to the new USO Warrior and Family Center in Fort Belvoir, Va., where they handed out cookies and helped military children make patriotic crafts. The visit was meant to commemorate the Sept. 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.
The USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir, the largest in USO history, supports wounded, ill and injured troops, their families and caregivers, as well as local active-duty troops.
"We just wanted to shine a light on all the great work that the USO is doing for families like these all over the country," Obama said. "And I've got my friend, Gary Sinise, here who has done such terrific work for veterans, troops and military families through his foundation, as well as his Lt. Dan Band."
Sinise's band will play a concert at Fort Belvoir later today.
The USO visit followed a more somber scene this morning at 8:46 am., when the first lady joined President Obama, Vice President Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, on the White House lawn to observe a moment of silence on the 12th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Perhaps to mark the change in tone for the appearances, Mrs. Obama changed her clothes. In the morning, she wore a purple sheath; by afternoon she had switched to a teal sheath.
Mrs. Obama also was due to meet later today with wounded warriors and their families in Bethesda, Md., at Intrepid Spirit One, the first of nine satellite centers intended to help military members and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and related conditions.