Eleven years ago this week, on September 11th, 2001, America was attacked by a ruthless and determined enemy. As terrible as that day was, we all took pride in the courage shown by our fellow citizens as they went about rebuilding their lives and their futures. Perhaps nothing was more moving, however, than witnessing the thousands of young Americans who felt the call to serve after 9/11.
We've all heard about or personally known the kid down the street that delayed college to join the Marines, the reservist whose unit was called up, or the soldier that left his wife and newborn at home to go fight for our country. For the last eleven years, these brave men and women have fought courageously for our country in Afghanistan and Iraq. They follow a long tradition of American service members that have put their lives on the line to defend our country in places like the beaches of Normandy, the jungles of Vietnam, and the sands of Kuwait. These are our American veterans, and there is no group more deserving of our respect and support.
Unfortunately, too many of our veterans are struggling in today's economy and are having trouble finding work after their service to our nation is complete. No veteran who fought for our country should have to fight harder for employment once they return home. But it's not just about jobs. Many veterans have been physically wounded or are suffering emotionally and need medical treatment. I feel that those of us who have benefited from their service have a duty to ensure they have full access to the best treatment available when they come home. Veterans should not have to wait years for claims to be processed or feel like their concerns are being ignored. Those that choose to put country before self, who leave behind families and sacrifice their own health and security should receive nothing but the best upon their return.
It's no secret that these are challenging fiscal times for our nation. While I strongly support efforts to cut Washington's spending, we cannot balance the budget on the backs of our nation's veterans. Ensuring that our veterans receive the benefits they have been promised should be a top national priority. That's why I've strongly supported legislation that would provide necessary funding for disability and medical benefits that veterans receive. I've also supported the Veterans Skills to Jobs Act, which would make the career transition from military to private life easier for our veterans, and which became law in July of this year. We must never forget what our veterans have done for us and our nation, and we must match our appreciation with the support, care, and funding worthy of their service.
I am honored to represent the 23rd District of Texas, the home of countless veterans and active duty personnel. I deeply appreciate their service to our nation and I will continue fighting to make sure they have the opportunities and benefits they deserve and have earned through their service.