Thanking our Veterans for their Service
As Americans, we are blessed to live in a nation where individuals volunteer to serve on our behalf to defend our country and our way of life - no matter the cost. We are the benefactors of their courage, and we honor their commitment to duty on Veterans' Day.
We thank the courageous men and women who fought in wars past to preserve our liberty. These heroes faithfully served America and carry the burdens of our nation with humble solitude. Through their years of service, they have taught others about patriotism, love of country, and the willingness to sacrifice for freedom.
We also have a new generation of veterans to thank as they return home from serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 3,700 of these returning soldiers are members of the Minnesota National Guard's 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 34th Infantry Division. These guardsmen just completed the longest continuous deployment of any U.S. military unit during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and we salute their efforts to maintain our country's promise of freedom.
Through programs like Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, we can continue our support for those leaving the battlefield and help them reintegrate into our communities. Washington must do its part too, and Congress should quickly send the important veterans funding bill to the President to sign into law. Our veterans deserve the peace of mind that critical dollars are on the way to upgrade VA medical facilities, maintain veterans' health benefits and expand life-saving medical research.
As we celebrate this day, we must remember both those who have fought in times of war and those who have struggled to maintain the peace. To all who have served our nation, your commitment is the foundation of our freedom and we are eternally grateful.