U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) issued the following statement in honor of America's veterans.
Today is Veterans Day. It is a day when Americans unite around memorials, participate in parades and collectively thank the brave military men and women who have fought to protect our way of life. It is a tremendous national expression of gratitude for the troops who I consider to be the foundation of our freedom.
To me, Veterans Day is also an opportunity to better serve America's 24 million veterans and their families. This year alone, we will welcome over 330,000 troops back home.
On this Veterans Day, our troops are engaged in battle on two fronts, where approximately 4,600 Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice. At least 33,000 have been wounded. An estimate 300,000 more will suffer from mental maladies like TBI and PTSD.
As a nation, we are doing more and more to meet their needs, yet much work remains. In the last two years, Congress has enacted a new GI Bill to help veterans pay for four years of education. Veterans have seen a historic increase in health care services. Military pay has increased by 3.9 percent. Congress has also stopped a fee increase for TRICARE service and developed a new military veterans' center to address psychological health and traumatic brain injury.
It is my pledge to make every day Veterans Day. I will redouble my efforts in Congress to strengthen the military, support our troops and their families, and provide services to our veterans worthy of their sacrifices and valor. On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind.