Michelle Obama will grace Redbook’s November cover, but her most striking pose is the centerfold image. In it, the first lady embraces five female veterans who are struggling to find work.
The women’s magazine is centering its upcoming issue entirely around the female veteran employment crisis and Obama was the obvious face for the cause. Since entering the White House, the first lady has made supporting veterans a focal point of her advocacy work by growing her nonprofit, Joining Forces, taking a strong stance on vet homelessness and urging companies to hire former servicemen and servicewomen.
But in Redbook’s November issue, Obama puts the spotlight solely on the unemployment plight of women veterans, a military group that often feels abandoned by the system.
“A lot of people think you guys come out of the military and the country is taking care of you, but the transition is tough,” Obama told the five women with whom she met during the Redbook interview.
The figures alone speak volumes.
Last year, post-9/11 female veterans struggled with a 9.6 percent unemployment rate. Their male counterparts faced an 8.8 percent unemployment rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
A major obstacle, experts say, is that the VA is encountering an unprecedented number of female veterans in need of specific services, The Wall Street Journal reported last month.