We can never say thank you enough to our men and women in uniform--both active duty and veterans. Veterans Day is a time to pause and to reflect on the sacrifices made by our troops.
General Douglas MacArthur said, "The soldier, above all others, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training--sacrifice." That sacrifice is embodied in the extraordinary Utahns who have served our country --yesterday and today.
On the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, 34 Utahns have paid the ultimate price; another 271 have been wounded. Since September 2001, 7,433 Utah members of the National Guard and Reserve have been deployed there. For every absent soldier, sailor, and Marine, there are mothers and fathers, spouses and children, friends and colleagues who love them, miss them and long for their return.
We can never fully repay the debt we owe them. But it is with their sacrifice in mind that I have supported:
* A new GI Bill to restore the promise of a full, 4-year college education
* Giving businesses a $2,400 tax credit for hiring unemployed veterans
* Expanding relief, homeownership opportunities and refinancing options for returning vets through VA home loans
* Creating a new Veterans Corps
* Establishing two mobile vet centers in Utah to enhance access to services
In addition, this year's Veterans Administration budget was hailed as historic by the American Legion. It includes the largest funding increase ever requested by a President.
I will continue to provide the equipment and the funding necessary for our troops to accomplish their mission and to return home safely
We just marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. There is a Freedom Bell in Berlin, Germany. Like the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, it is a symbol which reminds us that freedom does not come about by itself. We must fight for freedom and then defend it anew continuously.
I invite you to join me in thanking a veteran this month for making this fight.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Jim Matheson -- Honoring Veterans
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