Obama pays tribute to troops in weekly address



On Memorial Day weekend, President Obama paid tribute to the country's troops in his weekly radio and internet address.

"Our fighting men and women - and the military families who love them - embody what is best in America," Obama said. "And we have a responsibility to serve all of them as well as they serve all of us."

Obama said that the public often does not live up to that responsibility.

"We have failed to give them the support they need or pay them the respect they deserve," the president said. "That is a betrayal of the sacred trust that America has with all who wear - and all who have worn - the proud uniform of our country."

Obama went on to say that he is expanding the Department of Veterans Affairs with the "largest single-year funding increase in three decades." To help pay for it, Obama said he signed legislation last week to eliminate inefficicencies in defense projects that he believes will save taxpayers "tens of billions of dollars."

The president also touted a post 9/11 GI Bill that will provide this generation of the military the opportunity to earn a college degree.

Obama urged listeners to pay tribute to veterans in any way possible.

"That can mean sending a letter or a care package to our troops overseas," he said. "It can mean volunteering at a clinic where a wounded warrior is being treated or bringing supplies to a homeless veterans center. Or it can mean something as simple as saying 'thank you' to a veteran you pass on the street."

"That is what Memorial Day is all about," he added. "It is about doing all we can to repay the debt we owe to those men and women who have answered our nation's call by fighting under it flag."

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com