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Thousands of people filed in to watch first lady Michelle Obama campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Northern Virginia. Among them was Clinton campaign volunteer Patricia Ochan.

For Ochan, campaigning for Clinton, and watching the first lady speak, is personal. Originally from Uganda, Ochan came to the United States in 2001 and met her husband. In 2005, her husband was wounded while serving as a U.S. Marine. The injury took a toll on the couple, which had come to the United States to pursue the American Dream.

“She met my husband, and I and she woke us up,” Ochan told Rare of their meeting with the first lady at a Wounded Warriors event at Ft. Belvoir in 2013, adding “We started to remember why we came to America.”


Since her husband’s medical retirement from the Marines in 2015, the couple has been “happy” and “living life, and it’s a beautiful life.”

Ochan’s story served as one example of how politics is personal for so many people in this election season. The audience was packed with students who were compelled to campaign for Clinton this election season in an effort to make history. The sentiment was echoed by the first lady in her remarks to the crowd.

“Here’s what I absolutely know for sure–listen to this: Right now, we have an opportunity to elect one of the most qualified people who has ever endeavored to become president. Hillary has been a lawyer, a law professor, First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, a U.S. Senator, Secretary of State,” Obama said.

“That’s why I’m inspired by Hillary. I’m inspired by her persistence and her consistency, by her heart and her guts. And I’m inspired by her lifelong record of public service. No one in our lifetime has ever had as much experience and exposure to the presidency–not Barack, not Bill–as he would say, nobody. And, yes, happens to be a woman,” Obama said to wild applause in the audience.

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