America’s first job is defending our nation and its interests, and that includes taking care of the men and women who served in the Armed Forces.
I want to thank every veteran who has served our nation, and also their families who have sacrificed so much with them. I have had the opportunity to take part in many veteran related events during my time in Congress. Meeting so many men and women from our local communities who have answered our nation’s call to service was a reminder of what really makes our country great—the American people.
Our veterans today are carrying on a tradition that began with the Minute Men who fought for our nation’s independence over three-hundred years ago. America was born out of the sacrifices those first volunteers made in battle, but it was built on the actions they took after the last shots had been fired.
The same men who fought in combat against the British were the ones who went on to build the businesses, tend the farms, craft our form of government and outline the freedoms we still enjoy today. They knew first-hand, just like today’s veterans, the real cost of freedom, and they made sure the sacrifices they made were not in vain.
It is important that we remember that presidents and politicians come and go, but our country’s future depends on the same kind of Americans who would risk their lives for the freedom of others. That may never have been more true than it is today.
Since September 11, 2001, our nation has been engaged in the longest conflict of its history. While most of the country has been asked to sacrifice very little, millions of brave and selfless men and women have served in our all-volunteer military. The family members of those men and women have also carried a great burden to support their loved ones in uniform. It is those very people who we will once again depend on to lead us out of difficult times.
The trials they have overcome, the sacrifices they have made, and their very decision to volunteer during a time of war makes them unique and exceptional. If our country is to remain free and prosperous for generations to come, it will be because of men and women like them. We cannot ever forget that.
We will never know the full extent of their sacrifice, but we would not know freedom without it. That is a gift for which we can never fully repay them. I hope all of our veterans know that we have the most sincere gratitude and admiration for them. Thank you all, especially today, for your service, sacrifice, and continued commitment to our country’s future.
• To read my Memorial Day salute to a fallen veteran, click here
• To read my article on America’s Veterans in the Amarillo Globe, click here
Email | Facebook | Twitter | Mac’s Blog | YouTube | Video Mailbox