Columns

Honoring Our Nation’s Heroes

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Washington, November 9, 2018 | Pete Larkin (540-857-2672) | comments
Because of their sacrifices, America owes all veterans the care and support necessary to help heal their wounds, transform their skills, and give them the tools they need to survive and succeed after war.
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One hundred years ago on November 11, 1918, Armistice Day was set as a commemoration to honor the end of World War I. After World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a national holiday to honor American veterans of all wars. Since the birth of this nation, millions of brave men and women have served in the United States military. From the beaches of Normandy, to daring pilots flying missions over Europe, to the Korean peninsula, to the jungles of Vietnam, to the mountains of Afghanistan and the deserts of Iraq, and to bases at home and abroad, American soldiers have served and valiantly fought and defended the values of this great nation.

President Calvin Coolidge once said, “The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.” That is why this day is so important. These men and women hit the “pause button” on their own lives when duty called. They’ve been deployed overseas just before a holiday or the birth of a child. They’ve spent years away from their loved ones, and have returned, many of them – injured both physically and emotionally. And they made all of these sacrifices to protect our freedoms as Americans.

For veterans, the old adage that “freedom is never free” could not ring more true. As special as this day is, a simple “thank you” is not always enough. Because of their sacrifices, America owes all veterans the care and support necessary to help heal their wounds, transform their skills, and give them the tools they need to survive and succeed after war. Our veterans deserve a system that works and a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that is accountable to them. One step taken to ensure that our veterans have access to quality care is the passage of the VA MISSION Act. This bipartisan legislation streamlines the VA’s community care program into one comprehensive operation, implements a process for reviewing the VA’s assets to ensure veterans can access the care they have earned, strengthens the VA’s workforce through modernization and recruitment, and expands the Family Caregiver Program to pre-9/11 veterans. It is important that our nation’s heroes have access to high-quality, dependable health care in every community in the United States. They faithfully served us; it’s time we assist them by providing the care they deserve.

We must always pay tribute to those who have made our nation great, strong, and free. I ask that you continue to keep these brave Americans in your thoughts and prayers not just during this time of year, but every day. I also want to express my sincerest appreciation to our military families. They, too, have made countless, and often unrecognized, sacrifices. And while it is virtually impossible for us to sufficiently convey our national gratitude or to adequately express our unyielding pride to those who have worn the uniform of this great nation, I humbly want to say thank you to these true patriots and to the countless brave Americans who have sacrificed their lives for this country. This 100 year anniversary of Veterans Day is a time to reflect on the millions of Americans who have made this nation stronger through their sacrifices. It is because of them that our nation remains the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
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