Today marks Veterans Day, the time when we Americans remember the sacrifice made by the 23.4 million* living Veterans to protect our country, our families, and our freedom. Today, as we remember our Veterans and their bravery, we must also rededicate ourselves to honoring our nation's commitment to them, just as they selflessly fought to protect us.
As a Veteran myself, I understand the solemn duty we have to our heroes. We must make sure the VA medical system is adapting and improving to meet changing needs and we must ensure our country's promises to our Veterans are met. And, we cannot forget our duty to look after our military families who are the heart, soul, and strength for our Veterans.
During my nine years in the Navy, I recall conversations with my air crew and Pentagon colleagues, in which we shared a common pride in our duty to protect our country. We were keenly aware that we were continuing the work of the generations that came before us to ensure that America always stands as a beacon of freedom and hope to the world.
I hope you will join me and my family this Veterans Day in honoring the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces in the following ways:
If you see a veteran or their family, thank them for their service and sacrifice for our freedoms.
Encourage your local schools to invite a veteran to speak to our children about the meaning of their service and our freedoms. Please visit the Web Site www.vfw.org/index.cfm?fa=cmty.levelc&cid=148. They have an ongoing program where you can meet and hear stories from real veterans.
Volunteer at your local VA Medical Center, such as the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Medical Center in our area, which you can support with a monetary or time donation.
Most of all, I hope you join me in marking this solemn day for our country.