Memorial Day

In 2015 President Obama presented the Medal of Honor to an American Soldier —Captain Florent Groberg which marked only the tenth time a living service member has received our Nation’s highest valor award for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq. Seven more were posthumously awarded the medal.

During the ceremony, President Obama addressed the specifics of Captain Groberg’s heroism. But let me say that in the worst of circumstances, and without hesitation, Captain Groberg acted in a manner that saved the lives of many of his comrades.

Tragically, he could not save them all.

When he was informed that he would receive the Medal of Honor, he said, “This medal belongs to them. It is my mission to tell everyone, ‘Thank you for recognizing me, but this does not belong to me. It belongs to them.’ That’s how I’m coping with it mentally. This gives me an opportunity to represent them and their families.”

Captain Groberg is emblematic of the service and sacrifices of young men and women from every generation of American Veterans.

For almost two and a half centuries now, they have selflessly answered the calls to arms to preserve and defend the ideas behind the words that are both vision and conscience for our democracy: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Each generation has done its part to deliver a strong and free America to the next generation. They have done so with great determination, personal toughness, and a willingness to risk it all for others.

This Memorial Day, we want to especially acknowledge those who served in two difficult conflicts, World War II and the decade-long war in Vietnam. To those who fought in both wars, thank you for your selfless service. Americans are ever grateful for your sacrifices. The President and Vice President understand and value the service and sacrifice of Veterans.  That’s why they’ve provided strong and increasing resources for care and benefits, support of the New GI Bill to educate the next generation of American leaders, tremendous support to help VA drive down the backlog in claims by almost 90 percent, and to improve access to quality health care for all Veterans.

The current administration are unwavering supporters of Veterans and Service Members in their own right. They have joined forces to bring the public and private sectors together in support of employment of Service Members, Veterans, and all their family members, among many other initiatives.

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