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By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2012 – Noting their contributions to military families’ lives, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, yesterday announced the 20 finalists that will compete for top honors in the Joining Forces Community Challenge.

The challenge, part of the Joining Forces campaign, recognizes and celebrates individuals, communities and organizations that have displayed outstanding support to military families and veterans. The first lady and Biden launched Joining Forces last year to raise awareness of troops, veterans and their families, and to rally the nation around them.

“Jill and I have asked organizations large and small to direct some of their efforts toward our troops and their families, and … we’re thrilled to congratulate 20 groups who are doing just that,” the first lady said in a White House release yesterday. “These organizations are doing what they do best: providing financial assistance for scholarships and child care, working to build self-esteem in military teens, offering free photo sessions for military families and so much more.

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