By Geneva Sands - 05/28/12 05:19 PM EDT
"Today we stand behind families that will never be whole again, but we must continue to stand with them every day. Supporting them in the ways they need it most, particularly as the transition into their home communities, shows that we do not just think of them, but that we really do remember," Dempsey said.
"The VA can't drop the kids off at soccer and the DOD can't help you study for your final college exam. Nobody looks out for you like friends, neighbors or your family," he added.
Dempsey pointed to the origins of Memorial Day as a local celebration that was only later recognized as a national holiday.
"It starts with us. Preserving the bonds of trust is something that demands of constant attention and something that we're just going to have to keep delivering," he said.
Earlier Monday Dempsey said more needs to be done to serve the soldiers who have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"No, we're not doing enough," said Dempsey when asked about a newly released report showing that the most recent veterans are filing for disability benefits at historic rates on CBS's "This Morning."
Forty-five percent of the 1.6 million veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are seeking compensation for service-related injuries, more than double the claims filed after the Gulf War, according to The Associated Press.
"It certainly feels like the longest war we've ever been experienced in our history, we're fighting with an all volunteer force that's performed magnificently, but we're asked them to deploy and re-deploy on a cyclic basis, very common for young men and women to have three, four, five tours. And I think we're learning about the effects of conflict that's that protracted on the human dimension and as we learn, we adjust," he said.