On this Veterans Day, I’d like to take this opportunity to honor my fellow veterans who have served in the Armed Forces. Today, we should all take a few minutes to remember that the life we enjoy is ours because of the sacrifices made by veterans who have kept our heritage of freedom secure.
As we honor our veterans today, and every day, we pass on a national legacy of hope and promise to future generations. The legacy of our veterans is built upon courage, dedication and sacrifice and based in the sober realization that freedom is not free.
Freedom exacts a price for all of us, but especially, our veterans. Veterans have been the leaders in the fight for liberty; they have sought to advance the cause of freedom and democracy to people all over the world.
Today, we should salute their service, honor their sacrifice, and thank them for supporting this nation in every hour of need.
At the same time, we should acknowledge that freedom’s cost continues long after the guns fall silent. Many of our veterans bear the disabilities and scars of military service. The families of others – who never returned from their service - live always with the profound sense of loss. It is our duty to remember what our veterans have done and to uphold our commitments to them and their families.
The veteran tradition of service extends beyond the battlefield and barracks. Most veterans, when they transition back to civilian life, continue devoting their energies to the service of their country and communities. They are civic-minded role models who challenge and inspire our young people. They are volunteers in their communities who make sure that our way of democracy survives and thrives. They are all of us and they represent what is best in the American spirit.
I am asking all of you who will read this blog to do something for a veteran today. If you know of any veteran who is looking for help as a result of their military service, there are two websites that might help them get information about their benefits. Please pass on the information to these websites.
- First is http://veteranshealth.com that lists illnesses and health concerns that have been identified with service during the wars listed.
The site is maintained by the Veterans Health Council, an advocacy group that has taken it upon themselves to tell veterans and their families about health issues and benefits that are available to them. The Council also educates health care communities about the multiple health issues that are associated with military service.
- The other web site to direct veterans and their family members to is https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/e at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The site is a one-stop shop for online benefits-related tools and information. This portal is designed for Wounded Warriors, Veterans, Service Members, their families,and their caregivers.
It is all of our responsibility to make sure that each succeeding generation learns of the sacrifices of our veterans and remembers that the price of freedom is a burden that we all must bear, veteran and non-veteran alike.
Happy Veterans Day 2010.