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Fort Wayne News-Sentinel - Pence Op-Ed: As a Country, We Must Fight for Those Veterans Who Fought for Us


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by Rep. Mike Pence

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, fighting ceased between Allied nations and Germany, and World War I, or "The Great War," came to an end.

A few decades later, after World War II and Korea, the day was officially designated as Veterans Day. The proclamation was issued, appropriately, by President Dwight Eisenhower on Oct. 8, 1954.

As a result, our nation pauses every fall on Nov. 11 for Veterans Day to honor those who made it home.

This is a day where we as a nation recognize those who are truly brave: the men and women who have said difficult goodbyes to spouses, children and parents in order to fight for freedom. They have missed family meals around the dinner table, their child's first steps, school plays and graduations.

They lost limbs, and they said tear-filled farewells to close friends who fell alongside them. They fought valiantly, and in the course of doing so they have sacrificed for all Americans. And for their selfless act of service, we are eternally grateful.

We owe our nation's veterans a debt of gratitude that we can never repay.

Unfortunately, like many other Hoosiers during these difficult economic times, many veterans are hurting and are in need of jobs.

As a country, we must fight for those who fought for us.

To that end, last month I supported H.R. 2433, the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, when it passed the House of Representatives. This bill expands retraining assistance for veterans and promotes new strategies to target unemployment among these heroes.

We owe it to those who have risked their lives in defense of freedom to support them as they make the transition from the service to the civilian workforce.

These are the true heroes: men and women who have donned the uniform of one of America's great military branches and have earned the distinguished title of "veteran" upon returning home.

Serving in the military is a humble act and a selfless gift to our nation.

On this Veterans Day, let's pause to thank our family members, friends and neighbors who have fought for freedom.

Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Pence represents Indiana's 6th District in Congress.

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