The United States continues to be the beacon of freedom in the world. The only reason that remains the case 244 years after its founding is because of the continued sacrifices of our veterans in service to our country. Every year, we take time to celebrate our veterans, and rightfully so.
Serving our country is a great sacrifice. Whether it’s time away from family and friends, not being present for milestones, mental health—the list goes on. For many who have served, it has meant the ultimate sacrifice—laying one’s life down in service to our country.
We could not function as a country without a strong military and we can’t have a strong military without well-trained, devoted individuals who choose to serve. It’s their blood, sweat, and tears that keep this nation free. It’s their choice to serve that keeps us safe and keeps our country secure from foreign enemies.
The number one thing we can do on Veterans Day is say thank you. It’s a simple thing that goes a long way. We’ve also got to make sure that we’re taking care of our veterans, both those currently serving and those who have served.
That’s why we’ve got to make sure our military is well-funded, our service men and women are better paid and our veterans get the help they need. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I’ve proudly supported pay increases for our troops over the years and will continue to do so. The VA Choice program is another improvement that has helped improve the access and delivery of our veterans’ healthcare. However, there’s no doubt that, whether its troop pay, healthcare or anything else that helps our veterans, we can always do better.
The bottom line is that we have to invest in our service members, because our military and our country are only as strong as the brave individuals that make up our Armed Forces. If we don’t take care of them, it makes it that much harder for them to protect our freedom.
While it’s important to ensure our military men and women are supported in Congress, it’s also critical that our veterans get the support they need in North Missouri when they need it. My office is always available to assist any veteran trying to navigate the bureaucracy of the federal government. In fact, it’s one of the main things I do and I’d encourage anyone needing help to reach out.
Because of our veterans and the sacrifices they’ve made, our freedoms and the very existence of our democratic republic continue to endure. Today we celebrate all of our veterans because they have put it all on the line to ensure that the greatest nation on earth remains free.
Sam Graves is the Mo. Sixth District U.S. Representative.