Each year on Memorial Day, Americans come together to remember those who have sacrificed their lives on behalf of our country in the name of freedom and democracy. The debt we owe to those heroes and their families is immeasurable and their sacrifices are the foundation of our nation's freedom. Without the brave efforts of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, our country would not live so freely.
We continue to have troops deployed in Afghanistan, while our soldiers in Iraq have returned home. On this Memorial Day, we renew our commitment to keep our promises to the nation's more than 2 million troops and reservists, their families, as well as 23 million veterans, including over 28,000 here in the First District. Let us also honor the memory of the more than 4,500 Americans who have died in Iraq and more than 1,900 who have died in Afghanistan. We also honor the sacrifices of our wounded: nearly 32,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 15,800 in Afghanistan.
As part of keeping our promises to our veterans, we in Congress should focus on helping our men and women in uniform obtain good jobs when they come home. With one-in-five veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 returning from Iraq and Afghanistan looking for work, we have an obligation to make sure they have the necessary tools to navigate this difficult labor market and succeed in the civilian workforce. As a nation, it should be our pledge that when our veterans return home, we leave no one behind.
This day and every day, let us honor our service members with actions that fulfill our commitment to our troops, their families, and our veterans and that are worthy of our grateful nation.
Member of Congress