Thursday, November 12, 2009

Maureen Reed's Veterans Day Email

No spin...
Last week, an unspeakable tragedy occurred at the Fort Hood Military Base in Texas, when a gunman opened fire at his fellow servicemen and women. Never before has our nation faced such an action of this scale, and as the details unfold, my hope is that our energy, focus, and sympathy remain on the brave servicemen and women who are recovering from their injuries, as well as honoring the memory of those who sacrificed their lives because they felt the call to serve our nation.

Fort Hood's loss is a loss for all Americans and my campaign staff joins me in expressing our heartfelt sympathy and respect for all of our service men and women and their families at this time.

Veterans Day has always been a special day for me. I am grateful that the nation dedicated one day as a small token of our appreciation for the brave men and women in our military. Like many of you, the military has played a large role in my family, with my father serving in World War II.

He recalled to me that as a 35 year old on December 7th 1941, he heard the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor while standing at the corner of Oak and Washington streets in Minneapolis. Dad knew immediately that he had to answer the call to defend our country and enlist in the military. He served in the Navy as a signalman, using the Morse code to communicate with other ships in his convoy to protect oil tankers all over the globe, from the South Pacific to the North Sea.
In my life, I've worked to ensure that our veterans are taken care of not only when they are wearing their uniforms, but when they return home as well. As part of my internal medicine training, I worked at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis, taking care of veterans with service related injuries from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. It was truly an honor to give back to our veterans. When I get to Congress, I will make sure veterans issues will be a top priority of our government.

I have two nephews who are in the military; one who served with the National Guard and is a Veteran of the Iraq War, the other is currently on active duty US Air Force, flying C-17's, ensuring that troops on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq have the supplies they need.

Today's heroes deserve our respect and gratitude. Stationed across the globe and around the nation, I admire their commitment to protecting our country. We must always remember their contributions long after today passes.

Ensuring that our veterans have quality physical healthcare, superior mental health counseling, tuition assistance and vocational training is a paramount responsibility of our elected officials, and not one I will take lightly. I would like to ask everyone to join me today in taking the time to reflect on the great efforts of the men and women in the military. While we only set aside one specific day a year for their efforts, it is important to keep their tremendous gifts in mind for the rest of the year as well.



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