Mr. FOSTER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to ask the House to observe a moment of somber remembrance for the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. On March 19, 2003, the U.S. Armed Forces invaded Iraq in what would become one of the most drawn-out missions in our military's history--a mission that would end in more than 4,000 fatalities and 31,000 wounded.
All too often, these brave men and women risk their lives to serve our country, only to return home to face a different type of battle--a battle to receive the care and benefits that they deserve.
Earlier this month, in a commitment to provide high-quality healthcare to our veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs opened a new Veterans Outpatient Clinic in Joliet, Illinois. As part of the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, the 60,000 square foot facility will offer state-of-the-art healthcare, providing a variety of services including: primary care, physical, occupational, and speech therapies, health education, mental health treatment, women's healthcare, nutrition, and retinal imaging.
With more than 5,000 veterans already signed up to receive treatment at the Joliet Clinic, the facility will go a long way toward providing the healthcare that our men and women in uniform deserve. I am proud to have the Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Hospital Outpatient Clinic serving our veterans.
Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to not only join me in remembering those who lost their lives serving our great nation, but to also recognize and thank those veterans who have returned home after defending our country bravely and honorably.