Washington (CNN) – First lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, appeared on ABC's "The View" on Monday to talk about the challenges military families face and urged Americans to do more to support them.
And since the show is known for casual chats, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden also discussed other subjects, such as how each woman reacts to political criticism of their husbands, the upcoming presidential race – even how President Obama, as a dad, is handling his oldest daughter's becoming a teenager.
Most of the talk focused on support for military families. In the audience were service members and their families, some of whom explained the challenges they face as they serve abroad while loved ones must care for family matters at home.
The issue is one that Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden have long been passionate about. Last week, the first lady and Mrs. Biden visited four states, in two days, to raise awareness about the needs of families of military service members.
"We're trying to expand public awareness. Because our military families sacrifice so much for us," the first lady said. "And most Americans are probably like I was. Not really recognizing the sacrifices and the challenges that these families make."
Obama said that the focus on the campaign, titled "Joining Forces: Taking Action to Serve America's Military Families," will be on employment, mental health and wellness for troops and their families and education.
Mrs. Biden urged Americans to commit to acts of kindness.
"Go to your schools or your churches or your communities and find out [who] the families who are," she said.
Mrs. Obama was asked to address some Americans who may be weary of war.
"I don't think anyone wants war. But there are times that it's necessary," she responded. "And if we want to live in a society where we have our freedoms protected, this is the one-percent that's making the sacrifice for all of us. It's part of our democracy."
"The View" hosts also questioned Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden about other issues. For example, both women were asked how they handle intense criticism of their husbands.
Mrs. Biden said, "30 years or more in political life, it just comes with the territory."
Mrs. Obama also shrugged off the criticisms.
"I think about all the good stuff," the first lady said. "What we have to do in this country is remember who we are."
Mrs. Obama continued: "Everybody has their detractors. And that's part of what the political process is all about. But we're one country. And I think people know that. They know that Joe and Barack are working hard for them. You may not agree but, you know, that's what I hold on to."
Are they ready for the grueling, upcoming presidential race?
"We're ready," Mrs. Obama responded.
In a lighter moment early in the interview, the first lady talked about her and the president's raising their two daughters in the spotlight.
How is the president doing as he watches his 12-year-old daughter, Malia, become a teenager?
"He says he's cool," Mrs. Obama responded.
"The first time Malia went out for a party – and she was dressed, right. She had her hair done. And she's tall. And she had on a pretty dress. You could see him. He was sort of like, Gulp! And I was like, 'Easy dad.' It's only the beginning."