Joining Forces to connect biz, military

Screenwriter Katherine Fugate (”Army Wives”) is helping to launch Joining Forces, a national call to action in support of military families being led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden.

The White House said Tuesday that Joining Forces will work with the major entertainment guilds (the Directors Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild, the Writers Guild of America and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) along with Sesame Street, NASCAR, AandE Lifetime Networks, AOL, USO, Nickelodeon, the Country Music Channel, Disney ABC, Pixar and Major League Baseball on ongoing public awareness campaigns about military families.

”Joining Forces was created to recognize and serve our nation’s extraordinary military families who, like their loved ones in uniform, serve and sacrifice so much so that we can live in freedom and security,” said Mrs. Obama. ”This is a challenge to every segment of American society not to simply say thank you but to mobilize, take action and make a real commitment to supporting our military families.”

The White House noted that the Joining Forces initiative builds upon President Obama’s directive to establish a coordinated and comprehensive Federal approach to supporting military families. That report details nearly 50 commitments from Cabinet Agencies to reform, strengthen, and better coordinate the gGovernment’s support for military families.

Fugate, a member of the WGA West’s board, created and exec produced Lifetime’s ”Army Wives,” centered on the struggles of military families living on an Army base.

”The soldier and the families all serve together,” Fugate said. ”They are all our heroes and we owe them a lifetime of gratitude.”

The WGA West said Tuesday that it’s participating in the Joining Forces initiative by conducting a series of workshops connecting Hollywood’s TV and screenwriters with military families and veterans to share their experiences.

”Hopefully, through this increased awareness, more writers will be motivated to tell the stories of these everyday people, who through their daily sacrifices, challenges, triumphs, and tragedies become extraordinary Americans who inspire us all,” Fugate said.

Fugate told Variety that there will be a Joining Forces meeting held at the WGA next Tuesday. She also said that attending the White House event had been “surreal.”

“I’m so excited to be asked to contribute in terms of shining a light on people that don’t receive a lot of attention,” she added. “It was such an honor to be asked.”

Initiative will take place next week.

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