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Public Statements

"Salute to Veterans and Their Families"

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Department of Labor

Good morning everyone.

Thank you Sara (Manzano-Diaz) for your introduction and thank you for all the great things you and your staff are doing for our military women and their families -- we are proud of what our Women's Bureau offers to families across the nation.

I also want to thank our Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training, Raymond Jefferson.

I want to recognize the great work delivered by you and your staff!

Thank you for your leadership.

Your work is helping our Veterans and their families across the nation and it has a tremendous impact on their lives.

And thank you for your assistance to put this wonderful event together.

I also want to thank Senator Mark Begich and his wife Deborah for joining us as well.

Thank you Senator for your work on the Armed Services Committee and for your dedication to our men and women in uniform.

Today we are continuing a tradition that has taken place for more than two decades here at the Department of Labor.

This is our way of saluting and commemorating America's Veterans!

I want to thank all of you for being here today and I would like to ask all of our veterans and any active members of the military to stand and be recognized.

Thank you all for your service to our country!

The Department of Labor understands the importance of helping to meet the needs of our retired military men and women.

We know you have a wife or a husband... a son, or daughter you go back to after your service to this great nation.

And I know being far from them are some of the things you sacrifice to help us be safe here at home.

You miss important occasions with your loved ones and we know these are challenges you face in addition to your military responsibilities.

That's why I personally want to commend your service and remind you and all of the military veterans and families you know -- that the Department of Labor is ready to serve and help you.

I am proud to say that many of our staff here at the Veterans Employment and Training Department are Veterans themselves.

They have been in your situation and understand your needs.

Our focus is on helping veterans and their families, whether it is with their disability insurance, job training, career counseling and skills assessment.

We also help service men and women who may be on the brink of homelessness by providing support services.

In addition to our work here, President Obama and other cabinet members are working together to improve programs that will better the lives of our veterans and their families.

For instance, on November 9th last year, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the Veterans Employment Initiative.

The Initiative will help the men and women who have served our country in the military find employment in the Federal Government.

It also underscores the importance of aligning the talents of these individuals with the necessities of government to help meet the needs of the people we serve.

And as the Secretary of Labor, I am proud to serve as co-chair on the Interagency Council on Veterans' Employment.

You may be wondering who these people standing behind me are.

These brave men and women are the beneficiaries of some of our programs.

Now they are working to provide for their families and have a career they can be proud of.

And I want you to know their stories.

Leroy Pitts is an Army Veteran who is working for D.C. Department of Transportation.

Sandra Harris is a Marine Corps veteran who works for New Samaritan Baptist Church here in Washington, D.C.

William Creek is also a veteran of the Marine Corps.

He has been offered employment with two different companies as a tractor trailer driver.

David Sims is a Veteran of the Air Force and is employed with McMunn and Associates Inc., working in information technology.

Keith Cole is a veteran of the Marine Corps who works as a Deskside Support Specialist with I.B.M.

Stephen Greathouse is an Army veteran who is currently employed as the Employment Assistance officer for the Maryland National Guard.

Lisa Bolling is a veteran of the Air Force, who is now working as a member of the D.C. Department of Transportation.

Kenneth Hinton is an Army Veteran who is currently studying for a paralegal career at Baltimore City Community College and was recently employed at Franklin and Prokopik Law Firm in Baltimore as an Administrative Assistant.

Herbert Hughes is an Army Veteran who came to our Veteran Workforce Investment Program and is now employed with Harte Hank as a material handler.

Walter Posey is an Army Veteran who is employed at the VA Medical Center as a patient escort.

And we have Dwayne Myer, an Army Veteran who is working for Exterior Unlimited where he is now helping to hire veterans within the Green Job Industry.

This morning I stand in front of our Veterans.

But I want you to know that Ray Jefferson is behind you.

Sara Manzano Diaz is behind you.

And Hilda Solis is behind you!

Because on the battlefields of war, our soldiers pledge to leave no one behind.

And this Administration pledges to leave no veteran behind.

May God bless you and your families.

And may God bless the United States of America.

Thank you.

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