US First Lady Michelle Obama speaks as Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus (L) and military families look on during dedication ceremonies of the new Fisher Houses on the campus of Naval Support Activity in Bethesda, Maryland, on December 2, 2010.

*First Lady Michelle Obama has helped open three new residences for families of ailing U.S. soldiers and veterans in Maryland, the AP reports.

Mrs. Obama cut the red ribbon Thursday for the Fisher Houses at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. She was flanked by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Ken Fisher of the Fisher House Foundation.

Obama says the homes provide a comfortable place for families who have made a sacrifice for their country.

The residences will provide free lodging for the families of as many as 60 sick and injured service members.

The Rockville-based foundation has built dozens of Fisher Houses at military facilities, currently helps 13,000 families and has made more than three million days of lodging available to family members since it originated in 1990. Fisher House also administers “Scholarships for Military Children,” a program for the sons and daughters of service members.

The new residences are part of the planned move of Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Washington to Bethesda next year.