WASHINGTON, DC—Ahead of Veterans Day, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following column:
Thanking Veterans for their Service and Sacrifice
As we mark Veterans Day, it is not only a time to thank our veterans for their service, but to also acknowledge the debt we owe them for protecting us and preserving our freedom.
When young men and women are brought into their nation’s service a promise is made. We promise each veteran that their sacrifice and that of their family will not be forgotten.
As a public official, there is a special obligation to serve those who have worn the uniform and served their country. Promises must be kept and their sacrifices must be remembered.
There are approximately 23 million living veterans from different generations and with different needs.
This sacrifice is also borne by the families of veterans – by the mothers and fathers and especially the spouses and children.
While traveling throughout Pennsylvania, I have had the privilege of sitting down and talking with veterans and military families to hear firsthand about their concerns and needs. This must be an ongoing dialogue.
In the Senate, I have supported increased funding for the VA. Continued support is essential to serve older veterans as well as making sure the needs of vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are met today and in the future.
Earlier this year, the Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act was signed into law to expand health care services for veterans and provide additional support for caregivers of injured veterans. This new law also provides additional help to veterans in rural areas who face difficulty in securing care.
In 2008, a major expansion of the GI Bill was passed to expand educational opportunities for veterans and to invest in America’s future.
I have also introduced the bipartisan Help Veterans Own Franchises Act to make it easier for veterans to start a small business.
These are some of the positive steps that have been taken. More must be done to ensure that our commitment to veterans is honored.
I hope that everyone will remember the service and sacrifice of our veterans this Veterans Day and every day of the year. And I hope that Pennsylvania service members and veterans will continue to reach out to me and my office to let us know what they need and how we can help by visiting casey.senate.gov. Or visit http://www.va.gov/landing2_vetsrv.htm to learn more about available VA benefits.