For many, Memorial Day was the start to summer when school's finally out and the swimming pools are open for business.
But for other families, Memorial Day meant mourning the loss of loved ones in uniform who paid the ultimate sacrifice in wars like Iraq or Afghanistan or other conflicts in our history.
We live in an amazing country. Although we are in tough economic times, America is resilient. Our forefathers and those who laid down their lives to make the United States what it is today and keep us free and safe are truly heroes.
All of our brave men and women in uniform who have served or are currently serving and their families sacrifice so much in order for them to defend our freedoms.
In return, we owe them and their families the best we can give them -- and not just on holidays reserved in their honor or in their memory.
Recently I visited the Bill Nichols Veterans Home in Alexander City. That facility is the type of facility our Veterans deserve. They do a great job there. That home is a reminder of the commitment our nation made to our Veterans in return for their service.
That commitment was discussed this week in Washington, as the House passed the fiscal year 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill. This important bill funds our Veterans' benefits and programs that have been earned through years of sacrifice and toil by our brave men and women and their families.
As our nation has done in past wars, we are now experiencing many new Veterans of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan coming home to rejoin their families and communities, to continue their service or find a civilian job. Our commitment to them should remain strong and steadfast, as it was with past generations of heroes.
Programs such as job training, counseling, and housing services are part of the pact we have made with those who have given their all to support and defend our nation. I was proud to join my colleagues in supporting this legislation as it passed the House of Representatives.
We owe so much to these brave men and women and their families. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will continue to fight for their best interests since they fought so hard for ours.