Michelle Obama with military panelists on Monday. Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

Hollywood’s relationship with the military has needed counseling for quite some time. But it took Michelle Obama‘s call for support with the White House’s Joining Forces initiative to get either side to make the first move.

On Monday morning, they showed up in droves.

On a panel moderated by J.J. Abrams — whose own depiction of the military in Super 8 was criticized in the New York Times Media Decoder blog this week – the First Lady urged nearly 500 writers, directors, and producers to help “promote a better understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices made by military personnel and their families” by integrating their experiences into TV, movie, and digital-media story lines.

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