President Obama in an excerpt from his speech on Veteran’s Day:
This is the first Veterans Day in a decade in which there are no American troops fighting and dying in Iraq. Thirty-three thousand of our troops have now returned from Afghanistan, and the transition there is underway. After a decade of war, our heroes are coming home. And over the next few years, more than a million service members will transition back to civilian life. They’ll take off their uniforms and take on a new and lasting role. They will be veterans.
As they come home, it falls to us, their fellow citizens, to be there for them and their families — not just now but always; not just for the first few years, but for as long as they walk this Earth.
To this day, we still care for a child of a Civil War veteran. To this day, we still care for over a hundred spouses and children of the men who fought in the Spanish-American War. Just last year, I came here to pay tribute as Frank Buckles, the last remaining American veteran of World War I, was laid to rest. Frank stepped up and served in World War I for two years. But the United States of America kept its commitment to serve him for many decades that followed.
So long after the battles end, long after our heroes come home, we stay by their side. That’s who we are. And that’s who we’ll be for today’s returning service members and their families. Because no one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they have earned when they come home.
Thank you, Veterans.