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“We have a responsibility to honor our veterans and to empower them to continue to serve as national assets…with the support of their families, communities, fellow citizens, and non-profits, our veterans can continue to lead and serve in new and meaningful ways.” – George W. Bush
Veterans Day honors the men and women throughout our Nation’s history who have chosen to serve their country in military uniform. Approximately 23 million of our fellow citizens once carried the title of Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, National Guardsman, Coastguardsman, and now carry the title of Veteran. Many served in a great war in the middle of the last century. They are the ones who fought in Europe and the Pacific to throw back tyrants, to answer aggression, and to liberate millions. Others defended our interests in the mountains of Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, and during the long vigil of the Cold War.
For the past twelve Veterans Days, we have also honored a new generation of men and women who defend our freedom. Since September the 11th, 2001, at great personal sacrifice, our all-volunteer Armed Forces have served as national assets ensuring the safety, security and freedom of the American people and our allies. They have brought down tyrants and persecuted terrorists, they have liberated two nations, and they have helped bring freedom to more than 50 million people.
These post-9/11 veterans are the newest greatest generation. They are a cadre of national and community leaders who will start new businesses or fill critical jobs; they will be social entrepreneurs leading our non-profits, schools, hospitals, faith based and community organizations. And while they bring tremendous character, knowledge and skills from their military experiences, they also face unique challenges as they transition from the military and integrate back into their communities. While the government provides support and services, it is through a national network of public, private and non-profit sector allies that our veterans and military families will continue to serve in meaningful ways and with a renewed sense of purpose.
The Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative unites and empowers a coalition of communities, non-profits, businesses, universities and colleges, foundations and individual citizens to effectively support our post-9/11 service members, veterans and military families in the areas of jobs, wellness, education, housing, family and women’s unique veteran issues. On this Veterans Day, and every day, we are honored to support those who embody the strength of the Nation.
Colonel Miguel Howe (USA, Ret.) is the Director of the Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative.
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