Video and photo gallery: Michelle Obama greets families at RAF Mildenhall
12:39 30 July 2012
© Archant Norfolk 2012
Michelle Obama received a rapturous welcome as she met British-based American military families on the final stop of her visit to the UK.
Cheers and claps greeted the US First Lady as she arrived at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk at the end of a UK trip which has seen her lead the presidential delegation at the Olympic Games.
Informally dressed in a blue sports jacket, chinos and ballet pumps, Mrs Obama took time at the air base to speak one-to-one with men, women and children whose spouses and parents are in the military.
She jogged into an aircraft hangar where the families were gathered waving US flags before greeting them with hugs and high-fives, and signed autographs and posed for pictures.
The challenges faced by the loved-ones of US service personnel has been a cause close to the heart of the First Lady, who has campaigned for better support for them.
Along with Dr Jill Biden, Mrs Obama last year launched Joining Forces, a US-wide scheme aimed at recognising and taking action to support families of America’s military.
The visit to RAF Mildenhall was the final engagement by Mrs Obama in Britain during which she added her backing to Team USA, met the nation’s Olympians at their training base in east London and attended a Let’s Move! event at the US Ambassador’s residence.
At the event, at Regent’s Park, children from American military bases across the UK played with British youngsters, joining in sports such as basketball, tennis and football.
After enjoying a ring-side seat to the opening ceremony and attending a reception for heads of state at Buckingham Palace, she had a private meeting with Samantha Cameron and cheered on US athletes at events.
As she boarded an Air Force jet at RAF Mildenhall, she waved at the families who gathered a few hundred yards away to cheer her departure.
See tomorrow’s EDP for more on the story.