Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day 2009

Each November, our country comes together to honor veterans who served our nation and remember those who paid the ultimate price in preserving our country's freedom. Throughout the history of our nation, brave men and women have answered the call of duty to defend democracy and protect the world from tyranny. From the War for America's Independence to today’s operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, our brave veterans have made unparalleled sacrifices for our country. I am inspired by the courage, professionalism, and patriotism of our men and women in uniform, and am eternally thankful for the sacrifices our troops and their families make for this nation.

Today on Veterans Day, we honor their service and pledge to fulfill our duty to provide earned benefits to these courageous men and women, as well as their families. Congress continues to work hard to pass legislation that honors our veterans’ commitment to our nation and ensures they have access to quality health care, education, and career opportunities. Any instance in which a veteran receives less than the best health care and services this country is able to provide is not only shameful – it's wrong. Caring for our veterans is a moral obligation our country must fulfill.

This Veterans Day is especially significant for Northeast Arkansas. Today, we honor the service and pray for the safe return of 200 recently reactivated service members from our own 875th Engineer Battalion. For those troops and families who make the sacrifice of service, please know that you are always in our thoughts and in our prayers. We are proud of the work you do to protect our freedoms, and are humbled by the sacrifices you and your families must make on behalf of our country.

From my family to yours, we wish all of our troops Godspeed in their return to the loving arms of your families. No other group of Americans has stood stronger and braver for our freedom than our military, especially our 875th. To all the veterans and their families—thank you for your courage, your character, and your strength. Every American owes you a debt of gratitude that words cannot repay.