Many generations of New Mexicans have answered the call to protect and defend our country. Today, on this Memorial Day, we honor all fallen soldiers for their bravery and commitment to our country, and their legacy of patriotism and sacrifice.
While we honor the service of fallen Americans, we must also keep in our prayers the brave New Mexico soldiers who continue to serve proudly and valiantly on our behalf.
As a dedicated advocate of veteran's issues, particularly access to health care and mental health services, I urge New Mexicans to take some time today to contemplate what we can do to help our friends, neighbors and colleagues who are returning from military service in Afghanistan and around the globe. There are nearly 200,000 veterans living in New Mexico. They served on our behalf, and all too often, they suffer in silence when they come home.
It is shameful that thousands of New Mexico veterans and their families do not have access to health care. Even more veterans delay medical care because of the cost. The Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction. When I get to Congress, I will make veterans a priority.
I am proud to call New Mexico home, and I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in a democracy that is only possible with the sacrifices of the honorable men and women who serve in the military.
As we observe Memorial Day, we remember the more than 1 million Americans who have died to preserve our freedom and we thank those who continue to answer the call to protect our country.