On November 11, we celebrated Veterans Day to honor the men and women who have served our nation in the Armed Forces. Though this annual day of remembrance and appreciation is an important tribute, the sacrifices our veterans have made in service to their country cannot ever be adequately repaid – certainly not in a singular day. I encourage the people of Central Washington to join me in making the mission of Veterans Day a daily and ongoing practice.
The saying “freedom is not free” rings as true today as it ever has, and it is because of the men and women who put it all on the line that we are secure in the freedoms and prosperity that we hold dear.
Over the past few years, I have had the privilege of honoring Vietnam War-era veterans across our district. Those who served in Vietnam did not receive a warm welcome when they returned from war, but they deserve nothing but our deepest gratitude and highest respect. Though this small token of appreciation was decades delayed, recognizing these heroes for their service – some of them for the very first time – was an honor of a lifetime.
Perhaps the most rewarding part of being a Member of Congress is the opportunity to actively mend the broken bureaucracies that have failed our veterans. From working with executive agencies to get veterans the benefits they have earned or collaborating with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass meaningful legislative reforms to our system of caring for vets, representing the veterans of Central Washington is not only one of my highest priorities, but also one of my most profound honors.
Whether it is volunteering to help veterans in need, or just taking the time to say “thank you” to a veteran in our own lives – I encourage all Americans to make an effort to express our gratitude to our nation’s heroes. While Veterans Day is only one day of the year, the service of those it celebrates is valuable beyond measure. It truly is because of our nation’s heroes in uniform that the ideals of our Founding Fathers are preserved.
It is an honor to represent and serve the distinguished veterans of Central Washington, and I will continue to be a fierce advocate for those who have served and sacrificed for our great nation.
If you or a loved one are a veteran in need of assistance with a federal agency or if you are interested in participating in the Veterans History Project, I encourage you to contact my office.