For the reason that founding of america, service members have defended the nation. In return, the nation has an obligation to care for those self same veterans, the vp of america stated throughout a Veterans Day tackle at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery.
“Since 1789, American service members have sworn an oath, to not an individual, to not a celebration however to the Structure of america, to assist and defend the ideas of liberty, equality and justice — to protect and defend our democracy,” Kamala Harris stated.
With the intention to serve the nation, Harris stated, these veterans needed to go away their family members, usually lacking birthdays, holidays and graduations. Some even missed the beginning of their youngsters.
“You risked every part and also you gave up a lot to safeguard the lives and the freedom of people that you could by no means meet,” she stated. “To be a veteran is to have actually recognized the true price of freedom and to have borne it for all of us. That could be a debt that should all the time be remembered.”
As we speak, Harris stated, Individuals owe a debt to navy veterans, a accountability to make sure they’re taken care of and that the injuries of struggle that had been inflicted upon them as they did the nation’s work are tended to, each whereas they wore the uniform and after as nicely.
“I am proud to serve alongside one of many biggest, biggest champions of our nation’s warriors, our president, Joe Biden,” Harris stated. “President Biden and I imagine that as Individuals, we now have a sacred obligation to care for our veterans and our navy households. Fulfilling that obligation means ensuring veterans can entry the assist and the assets they should thrive.”
One instance of that, Harris stated, is discovering methods to make sure veterans can discover work after their navy service ends.
“It has meant connecting hundreds of veterans with job coaching to assist them leverage the abilities and expertise they gained whereas serving, to construct a brand new profession and to strengthen America’s workforce,” she stated.
For veterans who fall on onerous instances, the homeless, they too have to be taken care of, Harris stated.
“This 12 months alone we now have positioned 31,000 veterans in everlasting housing and we’re on monitor to deal with hundreds extra by 12 months finish,” she stated.
Even the households of veterans are owed a debt, Harris stated. Whereas service members deployed to international nations, spouses and youngsters stayed at dwelling — questioning if their husbands, wives, fathers or moms may ever come dwelling once more.
“Taking good care of our veterans additionally means caring for those that love them,” Harris stated. “As a result of whereas our veterans wore the uniform, they weren’t the one ones who served. And nobody understands that higher than Dr. Jill Biden. By means of her management of Becoming a member of Forces, Dr. Biden fights for navy households, caregivers and survivors. And Dr. Biden, our nation applauds your extraordinary work.”
The Division of Veterans Affairs performs an necessary function in offering veterans the service they want, Harris stated. And that features ensuring these veterans obtain the advantages they’ve earned.
“Since we took workplace, we now have labored to cut back the VA claims backlog by upgrading expertise, hiring extra claims processors and streamlining evaluations. And because of this this 12 months, and underneath the management of the secretary, we processed extra VA claims than ever earlier than in historical past,” Harris stated. “We additionally got here collectively, Democrats and Republicans, to assist tens of millions of veterans uncovered to poisonous substances whereas working and dwelling close to burn pits and different harmful environments.”
The PACT Act, she stated, a brand new regulation that expands VA well being care and advantages for Veterans uncovered to burn pits, Agent Orange and different poisonous substances, represents probably the most vital enlargement of well being care and advantages for veterans and their survivors in three many years.
“It was handed due to the management of our president and due to the management of so a lot of you,” she stated. “We’re indebted to you for that arduous work and success.”
Even after wars conclude, and repair members take off their uniforms and return to civilian life, they proceed to serve, Harris stated.
“Veterans, in spite of everything, are nurses and firefighters, little league coaches and small enterprise house owners, religion leaders and elected officers, mentors and lecturers,” she stated. “Each day, by means of your life’s work, and your instance, you make America stronger. And on Veterans Day we come collectively as a nation, then, to specific our profound gratitude for all you may have carried out and proceed to do.”