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Operation Got Your 6: Michelle Obama's tribute to veterans, via penguins (+video)

Michelle Obama sends the 'Penguins of Madagascar' off on a mission to help kids grasp how veterans make communities stronger, even when the battles are over. The short film's release is timed to Veterans Day. 

There are no turnips in the latest short film featuring Michelle Obama. But the makers of “Operation Got Your 6” with the "Penguins of Madagascar" hope it will help spread the word about the contributions of veterans.

The video, in which Mrs. Obama sends the penguins on a top-secret mission, marches children through some facts versus myths about veterans in a way that only the penguins can. For teachers, it’s a fun way to start off lessons leading up to the Nov. 11 Veterans Day holiday.

“Veterans Day is a reminder that those who have served should not only be acknowledged for their time in the military, but also empowered to serve at home to help make communities stronger across the country,” said Chris Marvin, managing director of Got Your 6, a coalition of nonprofits, Hollywood and government partners, in a statement. The Got Your 6 coalition, which seeks to bridge the civilian-military divide, released the film Wednesday with DreamWorks Animation. 

The second annual Got Your 6 Storytellers event is taking place Thursday in New York, with veterans giving TED-style talks on innovations in their various fields of expertise.

The new video will also be part of HISTORY’s Take a Vet to School curriculum.

The film starts off with a straight introduction from Obama at the White House. “I want to talk to you today about a group of people that inspires me every day: our troops, veterans, and their families,” she says.

But she’s interrupted by a penguin who’s “tired of the SEALs getting all the attention.” That’s when she hands over the top secret Operation Got Your 6, a reference to military slang for watching each other’s back.

The penguins bumble their way through some kid-friendly misunderstandings – no, not animal doctors, those are veterinarians! – and learn that veterans have leadership skills that pay off in all walks of life.

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