Obama Calls on All Americans to Learn Example of Service from Greatest Generation
At a "Senior Town Hall Meeting" in Ames today, U.S. Senator Barack Obama brought together the Greatest Generation and the next generation to talk about issues that affect all Americans, like health care, the war in Iraq, and the future of Social Security. Obama said he will expand programs like Senior Corps and call on Americans of all generations to serve a cause larger than themselves like so many did in previous eras.
"If the Greatest Generation can teach today's generation anything, it's that a greater America is still possible," Obama said. "I believe that Americans of all ages are still willing to serve this country in ways big and small. I think the problem is that no one has asked you to. That will change when I am President."
The town hall meeting brought together senior citizens and high school seniors to call on all Americans to learn from the service and the sacrifice of the Greatest Generation. Obama encouraged more young people to serve their country, and said that as President, he'll expand service programs for seniors that provide more volunteer opportunities while helping them add to their retirement savings and offering scholarships for their grandchildren.
"One thing I want to do as President is to expand programs like Senior Corps to provide more volunteer opportunities for older Americans to serve," Obama said. "If you're willing to help out, we'll help you out by offering scholarships that you can provide your grandchildren or a chance to add to your retirement savings."
Senior Corps helps senior citizens become mentors, coaches or companions to people in need, or contribute their job skills and expertise to community projects and organizations. The program was conceived during John F. Kennedy's presidency and currently links more than 500,000 Americans to service opportunities.
Previously, Obama has hosted a number of events on senior issues. In June, Obama hosted a roundtable discussion in Story City where he discussed how his prescription drug plan would save seniors as much as $157 billion over the next decade. In May, he held an event at the Polk County Central Senior Center in May to discuss reforms to the Medicare Advantage program that would help prevent seniors from being defrauded. And in April, Obama met with seniors at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.