Monday is November 11, Veterans Day, a special day that our nation has set aside each year to recognize the brave servicemen and women who sacrifice so much to protect our freedoms and way of life. Originally a day of recognition of the end of World War I on November 11, 1918, today Veterans Day is a time to take a moment to give thanks to all those who have served and continue to serve our great nation. This Veterans Day, I encourage all of you to seek out a veteran and give a word of thanks, show your appreciation, and recognize the sacrifices veterans have made on behalf of all of us.
I am extremely proud to have veterans in my own family. My husband, Dexter, served in Vietnam where he suffered severe facial injuries for which he received a Purple Heart. My stepson and daughter-in-law, Doug and Lindsay, both served as Marine Corps officers in Iraq and are now in the Marine Reserves. Lindsay also served in Afghanistan and graduated from the Naval Academy.
Military service is a higher calling that continues to attract patriotic young people who wish to honor and protect the land, people, and liberty we hold so dear. This past week, I was proud to meet with dozens of future veterans at our annual military academy night at Miami Senior High School, where students, parents, and representatives from West Point, the Air Force, Naval and Merchant Marine academies, as well as the Coast Guard Academy, came together to discuss life as a serviceman or woman. I was inspired to meet this next generation of heroes, young men and women willing to put their lives on the line so that we may all live in freedom.
Today, Vietnam veterans, like my husband, Dexter, as well as veterans from all wars, were honored at the Golden Veterans Parade in downtown Miami. I am grateful to the wonderful volunteers who made this parade happen and appreciative that these veterans finally had a welcome home parade. But, as we show our thanks with parades and festivities this weekend, let us remember that the best way to honor and respect the sacrifices of our veterans is to make sure that they receive the best support possible upon their return. We must ensure that anyone injured in service has access to the best health care, that veterans receive the education, training, and assistance they need for a smooth transition to civilian life, and that benefit claims are heard and processed in a timely manner.
I wish you a very happy Veterans Day and look forward to speaking with all of you again soon. Please join me this weekend in saying proudly, loudly and gratefully: thank you to all our veterans!
Member of Congress