Veterans

November 14, 2012

President recognizes veterans’ service, sacrifice

Tags:
Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service


President Barack Obama laid a flowered wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns Nov. 11, and after thanking all veterans, he said more than a million warriors will transition back into civilian life over the next few years.

“This is the first Veterans Day in a decade in which there are no American troops fighting and dying in Iraq,” the president said over applause, adding that 33,000 troops also have returned from Afghanistan.

As veterans return, the president explained, it falls to Americans as fellow citizens to be there for them and their families as those who once wore the uniform now find new ways to serve.

“Some of our most patriotic businesses have hired and trained 125,000 veterans and military spouses,” Obama said.
He pledged to maintain the post-9/11 GI Bill, which has helped thousands of veterans pursue their education, including certifications, undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate degrees.

“We must commit this day and every day to serving you as well as you’ve served us,” the president said.

“Each year, on the 11th day of the 11th month, we pause as a nation and as a people to pay tribute to you, to thank you, to honor you, the heroes over the generations who have served this country of ours with distinction,” Obama said. He also acknowledged the toll taken on veterans’ loved ones, who he said continue to “walk these quiet hills and kneel before a final resting place of those they cherish the most.”

The president assured that the sacrifices of living and fallen veterans and their families and friends would never be forgotten.

“It is in that sacrifice that we see the enduring spirit of America. Since even before our founding, we have been blessed with an unbroken chain of patriots who have always come forward to serve,” Obama said. “Time and again, at home and abroad, you and your families have sacrificed to protect that powerful promise that all of us hold so dear: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Obama related the significance of today’s service members, the 9/11 generation that “stepped forward after the towers fell and in the years since have stepped into history.”

“You toppled a dictator and battled insurgency in Iraq,” he said. “You pushed back the Taliban and decimated al Qaeda in Afghanistan. You delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.”

These deeds drive the commitment to care for veterans, as more than a million warriors will transition back into civilian life over the next few years, the president said.

Obama also pledged to champion the cause of those who suffer invisible wounds of war, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. “No veteran should have to wait months or years for the benefits that you’ve earned, so we will continue to attack the claims backlog,” Obama said.

And as the United States marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, the president said, the government has secured new disability benefits for veterans who fought there and were exposed to Agent Orange.

“We carry on knowing that our best days always lie ahead,” Obama said. “You needed it, you fought for it, and we got it done.”
Also at the cemetery were First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

82nd Airborne helps commemorate 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden

Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger A paratrooper assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, reflects near the grave of a British paratrooper at the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Sept. 14, 2014, in the Netherlands. The...
 
 

VA announces awardees of grants that support disabled veterans in adaptive Sports

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald announced Sept. 29 the award of approximately $8 million in grants to provide adaptive sports opportunities for disabled veterans and disabled service members of the Armed Forces. Adaptive sports are those sports that have been created or modified for persons with disabilities. Partnering with national, regional, and community-based...
 
 
Air Force photograph by John Turner

WWII Airman lost in Pacific brought home to Montana after 70 year wait

Air Force graphic by Robert Stillwell First Lt. William D. Bernier, of Augusta, Mont., was reported missing April 10, 1944, when his B-24D Liberator was shot down over New Guinea while attacking a Japanese-held port. Bernier wa...
 

 

VA updates disability claims application

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Sept. 24 that it is introducing a uniformed disability claims form to better serve veterans, families and survivors. Standardizing the process by which veterans file claims and initiate appeals will make it easier for veterans and their survivors to clearly state what benefits they are seeking from VA and...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Mercedes Crossland

POW/MIA: Daughter of missing Vietnam-era pilot shares story of loss

Courtesy photograph Air Force Capt. Kelly Cook, left, a pilot who flew early generation fighter bombers, shakes the hand of another officer circa 1950s. Cook was a member of the Iowa Air National Guard when he was called to act...
 
 

Soldier missing from World War II accounted for

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced Sept. 10 that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing since World War II, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors. Army Pfc. Bernard Gavrin of Brooklyn, New York, was buried Sept. 12, in Arlington National Cemetery. On...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>