Veterans

November 13, 2013

President, VA secretary pledge support for U.S. veterans

President Barack Obama places a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns with the help of a soldier in the honor guard during a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Nov. 11, 2013.

President Barack Obama commemorated Veterans Day Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery, calling the holiday a reminder of the nation’s “sacred obligation” to those who have “fought for our freedom and stood sentry for our security” throughout America’s history.

The United States must never forget those who have stood apart, volunteering their service and putting their lives on the line “so the ret of us might live in a country and a world that is safer, freer and more just,” he said.

“This is the gift they have given us,” the president said. “This is the debt that we owe them.”

Speaking to hundreds of veterans from every U.S. campaign, including audience member 107-year-old World War II veteran Richard Overton, Obama said this commitment is particularly important as forces in Afghanistan return home from the nation’s longest war.

“On tour after tour after tour in Iraq and Afghanistan … the 9/11 generation has met every mission we have asked of them,” Obama said. “And today, we can say that because of their heroic service, the core of Al-Qaida is on the path to defeat, our nation is more secure and our homeland is safer.”

President Barack Obama and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki stand for the presentation of the colors during the Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Nov. 11, 2013.

He emphasized the importance of ensuring the service and sacrifice that made this possible isn’t forgotten after the mission is complete. “Even though this time of war is coming to a close, our time of service to our newest veterans has only just begun,” he said.

Just as the United States must ensure its troops are the best-led, -trained and –equipped, Obama said, “we have to devote just as much energy and passion to making sure we have the best-cared for, best-treated, best-respected veterans in the world.”

“So when we talk about fulfilling our promises to our veterans, we don’t just mean for a few years,” he said. “We mean now, tomorrow and forever. And not just for generations past, but for this generation of veterans and all who will follow.”

Obama promised to ensure the United States continues its “unprecedented support” for veterans, with measures to provide the services and benefits they have earned. He noted the Joining Forces campaign, which is helping veterans translate their experience into meaningful employment, and the Post-9/11 GI Bill program, which recently reached a milestone in awarding educational benefits to the 1 millionth recipient.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel greets a boy scout at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C., Nov. 11, 2013. Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, walked the wall and greeted veterans.

“That is our promise to you and all who’ve served, to be there, to support you when you come home every step of the way,” he said. “As a nation, we will strive to be worthy of the sacrifices you have made.”

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, who introduced the president at the ceremony, praised the “unwavering support” the nation provides its veterans, survivors and their families.

“Veterans Day is about celebrating and honoring our veterans who have given so much for the rest of us,” he said. “It’s not just a one-day-a-year event. It an abiding commitment, every day of every year.”

Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at 11 a.m. – the exact time the original armistice was declared on Nov. 11, 1918, marking the end of World War I – before his comments in the Arlington National Cemetery amphitheater.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel joins Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki to greet veterans and walk the wall at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., Nov. 11, 2013. The two leaders, both Vietnam veterans, visited the memorial and greeted veterans.

President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki participate in the Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Nov. 11, 2013.




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


 
 

 
Marine Corps photograph

DOD identifies missing World War II Marine

Marine Corps photograph Marines wounded during the landing on Tarawa in November 1943 are towed out on rubber boats to larger vessels that will take them to base hospitals. The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Sarah Hall-Kirchner

Airman’s remains returned home 62 years after his death

Air Force photograph by SrA. Sarah Hall-Kirchner Members of the Scott Air Force Base Honor Guard transport the remains of Airman 3rd Class Howard Martin during a dignified arrival July 10, 2014, at the Indianapolis Internationa...
 
 

Acting VA secretary outlines problems, actions taken

In testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs July 15, Acting VA Secretary Sloan D. Gibson outlined serious problems regarding access to health care and key actions the department has taken to get veterans off waiting lists and into clinics. “The trust that is the foundation of all we do – the trust of...
 

 

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force to host World War I 100th anniversary event

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I in Europe as one of the nation’s premier historical aviation events, the World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous will bring the excitement and adrenaline of early air power to Ohio, Sept. 27-28. The World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous will feature vintage reproduction...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

94th Infantry Division vets reunite to remember World War II

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Some 20 World War II veterans of the 94th Infantry Division gathered in Arlington, Va., June 28, 2014, for their 65th annual reunion.   To remain hidden against the snow in Germany during W...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO1 David Kolmel

Face of Defense: France honors World War II veterans

Navy photograph by PO1 David Kolmel Aboard the French FlorÈal-class frigate FS Prairial berthed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Rear Adm. Anne Cullere, commander in chief of French forces in the Pacific, presents U.S. World War II ve...
 




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>