Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District released the following statement today in celebration of Veterans Day, which is tomorrow, November 11.
"This Veterans Day, we honor the brave service of New Mexico's veterans and our veterans around the world, paying our respects for the sacrifices they made to help keep our nation safe. Generations of brave New Mexicans have been willing to put themselves in harm's way to protect our country and the values that we hold dear. And for that we owe them a debt of gratitude. They are part of New Mexico's long and proud tradition of service in the Armed Forces.
"Their valor serves as an inspiration to a grateful nation. When our nation needed them most, they heeded the call to serve. I believe we must thank our veterans not only through our words, but through our deeds as well. It is our duty to honor the commitment our nation made to care for our veterans when they return home. Just as they have been there for us, we must be there for them.
"Sadly, too many of our nation's heroes face significant challenges upon returning home. During this difficult economic time, we see too many of our veterans struggling to find work to support their families. That is why, just last week, I introduced legislation to help put our veterans back to work. It encourages businesses to hire those who served in our Armed Forces by providing tax credits for every veteran that is hired. It also recognizes the innovative efforts that states have taken to assist in employing veterans and provides them with vital funding to continue their critical work.
"Just this afternoon, the Senate passed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act to increase job opportunities or our nation's veterans. I urge leaders in the House to bring this bill up for a vote and support America's heroes.
"How we treat our brave servicemen and women when they return home is a measure of the strength of our country. That is why I was proud to support efforts to increase funding for the VA and make investments that address both the physical and mental health needs of our returning troops.
"As we thank our veterans for their service, let us also keep in our hearts the memory of those men and women who did not return from the field of battle -- those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. And let us continue to remember all of those still serving in harm's way and hope for their safe and speedy return home."