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First Lady Dr. Jill Biden spends first day in Massachusetts talking with veterans

First Lady Jill Biden talks with Massachusetts veterans and their families
First Lady Jill Biden talks with Massachusetts veterans and their families 01:45

BOSTON -- First Lady Jill Biden landed in Boston on Thursday afternoon for a three-day trip to Massachusetts.

She stepped off her plane accompanied by Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

At a time when mental health concerns are front and center in our country, Biden headed to the Charlestown-based program called Home Base, where military families poured their hearts out to the First Lady. "I found myself no longer wanting to live," Lt. Col. Amy Lynn Kalow told Dr. Biden.

Home Basie is run by Massachusetts General Hospital and the Boston Red Sox, designed to help soldiers, veterans and relatives cope with things like PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and grief. "I'm standing here alive because of the intervention that I received here," said Sgt. First Class Julian Kitching. 

It was the First Lady's first stop in a three-day visit that was part of the White House's "Joining Forces" initiative. It's an issue that's close to her family's personal experience. Dr. Biden is the daughter of a Navy Signalman, and the stepmother of the late Beau Biden, the President's son who served in Iraq. She's also a military grandmother.

Biden met with people who've gone through the intensive care program at Home Base, CBS Boston

"Military families serve too," said Jill Biden. "We have to remember that. They're right alongside their military member." She said she hopes the country can expand programs like Home Base, so others can get the help families say saved their lives in Boston. 

"If you can call somebody that can help you get through these really challenging moments, you will live to see another day," said Lt. Col. Kalow.

From Charlestown, the First Lady headed to a Democratic Party committee event in Andover. Friday, she's set to give a speech at the American Federation of Teachers Convention in Boston. She's also planning to meet with former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh who currently serves on her husband's cabinet as Secretary of Labor.

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