Monday, November 12, 2007

A Veterans Day Message

From Congressman Kuhl:
When I look out from the steps of the United States Capitol Building, I am always in awe of the sight before me. The Washington Monument is surrounded by the circle of American flags and the Lincoln Memorial emerges in the distance. We teach our children that the Presidents honored by these magnificent edifices were heroes of our country and should be remembered with honor. It is appropriate then, that in the shadow of these two great monuments, reside memorials to the men and women who defended the ideals of Washington and Lincoln during the 20th Century.

The horrific battles fought carved into the World War II Memorial, the bronze faces of brave soldiers at the Korean War Memorial, and the names of the fallen etched into the Vietnam Wall serve as constant reminders why the people of the United States live in the most free country the world has ever known.

These memorials honor the sacrifices made by these brave men and women who put their country before themselves. They came from farms and cities, from mountains and valleys, and from lives of privilege and lives of poverty. They each answered the call when their nation needed them most. These men and women represented the best America had to offer and they served their country with pride, with honor, and with courage.

Today is Veterans Day. It is a day to celebrate and honor those who have answered their nation’s call. During my time in the State Legislature and since taking office in 2005 as a member of the House of Representatives, I have fully, wholeheartedly supported our nation’s heroes. I have heard from many veterans who express their frustration with the VA system, which is not providing them with ample funding to take care of their injuries and needs that are the result of serving our country. I agree with our nation’s veterans that they should be provided mandatory funding. Just this week I voted for the Military Quality of Life Appropriations bill that provides the largest increase in funding for veterans health care in the history of the VA. This bill also adds over 1,000 new claims processors to reduce the backlog of 400,000 benefits claims and increases oversight to better track how funds are
being spent.

Support for our veterans must always be an American issue and never a partisan issue as our nation’s veterans are defending each one of our rights as American citizens. We must do what is best for veterans: not what’s best for a sound bite, political propaganda, or election year politics. These are our nation’s heroes and we must never let our fellow American’s forget their bravery or their sacrifice.

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