Tribute to the Troops (May 2013)

Take time to reflect on our soldiers’ sacrifices

Throughout our history, the American soldier has remained the steadfast defender of our freedom. From the earliest days of the Revolution up to the most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers have always answered the call of duty. These generations of soldiers are forever linked by their competence, character and commitment to this great nation.

Remember and uphold tradition

Among many reasons I feel privileged to serve as the 18th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the opportunity to frequently visit with our service members and their families.

Teamwork for our wounded vets makes the difference on this Memorial Day

In 2009, I met a young soldier at the old Walter Reed Army Medical Center who had suffered the loss of all of his limbs after an IED attack on his vehicle patrol in Iraq. I will never forget what he said as I visited with him that day. He told me, “If I could only get one hand, my life would be changed forever.” I asked him if he would be interested in learning about a groundbreaking arm transplant program that showed promise, and he assented.  

Sailors take to the seas to keep us safe

Your American sailors are forever on watch, guarding their beloved homeland from the decks of vessels deployed around the world and in aircraft flying high above. While you may rarely see them, the impact of their efforts is felt every day as we gratefully enjoy our nation’s freedoms and liberties — and as we sleep in peace at night. It is a great honor and privilege to lead the more than 400,000 sailors of the United States Navy and to recognize their sacrifices this Memorial Day.  

Honoring fallen Coast Guard heroes

As we observe the manners of our profession this Memorial Day, we remember and honor our nation’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who died while in military service. We must never forget that freedom is not free, but is only made possible by the thousands of patriots who stood the watch and selflessly made the ultimate sacrifice to serve our nation. We owe them an eternal debt of gratitude.

Honor troops’ sacrifice, focus on vet issues

Memorial Day must not simply be a day for picnics and ballgames. It is a time to remember the service members who have died in defense of this nation and appreciate the unimaginable loss their families have experienced. From the Revolutionary War to Afghanistan, we mourn the lives of all those brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

It’s our duty to help those who served

Memorial Day is a time when we reflect on the service and sacrifice of our nation’s service members and veterans. These individuals selflessly give themselves to defend our freedoms, and we are constantly humbled by their strength and courage. 

Memorial Day mission: Break the backlog at Veterans Affairs

Each Memorial Day, as we honor our nation’s fallen heroes, we are also reminded of the enormous debt of gratitude we owe the more than 20 million American veterans still with us today. Regrettably, nearly a million of these veterans are currently being shortchanged.

Veterans’ issues need pragmatism, vision for future

If we truly want to resolve, once and for all, the issues facing veterans today, we must move beyond a discussion of the problems and focus on what will have tangible, positive impact.