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Veterans Day

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Every year on Veterans Day, we stop and remember those Americans who have served and fought to defend the principles of liberty, opportunity, and justice on which our great Nation was founded. Throughout our history, America's military veterans never have taken these ideals for granted.

On Veterans Day this year, we must pause and think about our current service men and women, who are serving not only in Afghanistan and Iraq, but in places all across the globe. We must remember that we have a new group of veterans-a new generation of service men and women who are fighting with courage to bring peace and stability back to the world.

We also must show our thanks with both words and actions, and that means looking out for the interests of our service men and women. That is why I have been working to correct a serious problem facing many serving in our National Guard and Reserve-and that is a lack of health insurance coverage. The General Accounting Office reported that over 20 percent of our reservists do not have civilian health insurance, and when you look just at our junior enlisted reservists, this figure is almost double! These are the very people serving on the front lines in Iraq, and defending our homeland. I am pleased to report that Congress has approved a plan that I worked on with five of my Senate colleagues to give our members of the National Guard and Reserve the same health coverage that more accurately reflects the contributions they are making. This is the least we can do for those brave men and women who play such a key role in securing and protecting our homeland.

Whether on the islands of the South Pacific, in the air over France, on the beaches of Sicily, the mountains of Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, the deserts of Kuwait, the caves of Afghanistan, or the streets of Baghdad, Ohioans have defended America and our values with valor. We must never forget that veterans served for us, for our children, for our grandchildren and for future generations not yet born. If we look to the past for the values our veterans have fought to uphold, we can help keep America great well into the future.

And so, on this Veterans Day, to all veterans and especially to the families of those service men and women no longer with us, I thank you. We will always remember and honor the sacrifices you made.

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