On November 11th, our nation will observe Veterans Day. On this day, let us recall its historical significance and focus our attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
It is my highest duty and privilege to ensure the veterans of the First District of Tennessee are taken care of. As a fellow veteran, I honor the devotion, service and legacy our veterans have instilled on our culture, even as many often regard their own military service with modesty and humility.
Veterans Day serves as a powerful reminder of how our nation’s liberty and justice has been preserved by the dedication of our armed forces. But this special day also underscores our nation’s commitment to its veterans and their families.
It is critically important that we as a nation safeguard the quality of care for our veterans. That is why I have supported legislation such as H.R. 5145, Assuring Quality Care for Veterans Act, because I understand that is the duty of our nation to honor and support our service members and veterans through providing them with the quality care they deserve. The men and women who serve our nation deserve the best care, equipment, training and support we can give them.
The Veterans Benefit Act is one example of Congress stepping up to meet our responsibility to keep our promises to our veterans and to provide for our men and women in uniform. I count it as one of my chief duties in Congress to ensure that our armed forces are fully supplied with the equipment, technology, and support necessary to successfully accomplish their mission of defending and protecting the United States.
As a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am committed to the well being of our nation’s heroes. That is why I believe we must continue to fight homelessness that has plagued the lives of many of our veterans. In 2009, the VA’s specialized homeless programs served more than 92,000 veterans. Although this is highly commendable, there is still a greater need to assist struggling veterans. In doing this, we should focus these programs on providing our veterans with job assessment, training and placement assistance.
As President John Adams said, “Our liberty must be preserved regardless of the cost.” On this Veterans Day, I hope you’ll join me in expressing our deepest gratitude to the men and women who have paid that cost in a very personal way, as well as to those who continue to pay it today. As Adams went on to say, our liberty has been “earned and bought… at the expense of their ease, their estates… and their blood.”
We should be proud of our brave servicemembers who are sacrificing daily to stop our enemies in their tracks. It is essential that we support the strategies and policies put forth by our own commanders on the ground.
This Veterans Day, let us remember that we must honor and care for those who so bravely fought for our freedom. Let us honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Let us also remember all of the men and women who are currently deployed and who are in harm’s way. They are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.