On Veterans Day, Americans across our great nation come together to honor the brave men and women who wore our nation's uniform, to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, and to pay special tribute to those serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the globe. Without the brave efforts of all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coastguardsmen, none of us would live as free or be able enjoy the blessings of liberty.
The New Direction Congress treats every day as if it were Veterans Day, as we work to strengthen our military and ensure that our troops have the tools they need to complete their mission safely and the benefits and health care they were promised once they return home.
In the last two years, we provided more resources to care for American veterans than was done in the previous 12 years combined–including the single largest increase in veterans' health care funding in the 77-year history of the VA. We also helped make the heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan part of a new American economic recovery–just like after World War II–by restoring the GI Bill's promise of a four-year college scholarship.
Our pledge to meet the needs of our veterans is about redeeming a promise made by an American president long ago in the midst of our nation's bloodiest war. In his Second Inaugural Address, President Lincoln promised that our nation would “…care for him who shall have borne the battle, his widow, and his orphan…” We are keeping that promise to America's veterans.
On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind. On this Veterans Day, let us all pause to thank our men and women in uniform–both past and present–and to say a prayer for those serving today that they may return safely home.