First Lady meets with Exceptional Family Member Program families at JBSA Lackland

Dr. Jill Biden’s visit comes as part of the Joining Forces initiative that supports military members and their families.

SAN ANTONIO – As part of her first trip to San Antonio since 2019, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden stopped by Lackland Air Force Base to speak with military families who have children with disabilities.

Dr. Biden engaged with a classroom full of children before participating in a roundtable discussion about how to better support Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) families.

“My son was born with a malformation of the brain. He has polymicrogyria, he has cerebral palsy,” Sergeant First Class Andres Rodriguez-Bolandi said.

He’s a single father and shared his son’s medical needs sometimes are put on hold because of his military travel.

It’s one of the issues brought up today for discussion.

“It would be great in the future to see more opportunities and more flexibility for military families to be able to stay at the same location for a longer period of time as needed,” SFC Rodriguez-Bolandi said.

Other issues were about making school transitions easier for kids with individualized education programs and access to family services when changing bases.

Members of this panel bring first-hand experience, like Coral Ramirez-Comacho, who not only is an EFMP family member but now works for the program.

“It’s been an exciting journey to be able to give back and serve the military community the way I was helped throughout my journey with my son,” Ramirez-Comacho said.

The First Lady listened intently, asked questions, and took notes on what needs to be changed and how to better support families with children who have disabilities.

“We’re going to continue to work on these things and that’s why we are here. Because we have to know where the holes are in the fabric to be able to sew it all together,” Dr. Biden said.

The First Lady ended the discussion by saying the issues brought up are fixable, and they’ll bring them back to Washington D.C. to work on those fixes.

Dr. Biden continually called the parents participating strong moms and super dads, and thanked them for their support before having a private moment alone with the families before her departure.

About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.