Statement by The Honorable Tom Ridge on Veterans Day

November 11, 2009

Vietnam combat veteran Tom Ridge, the nation’s first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and current chairman of the National Organization on Disability, issued the following statement commemorating Veterans Day:

“Today we pay tribute to the valiant service of the United States Armed Forces - those who have protected our nation in wars past and present. We also honor their loved ones, for when one person wears the military uniform, the whole family does, with far-reaching sacrifice. From the recent tragedy at Fort Hood, to our brave fighters on today’s front lines, to the long legacy of courage that defines the American story, may we salute those who have faced, and continue to face, the diverse and dangerous demands of war.

“Often the challenges of military life do not end when our troops leave the battlefield. This is particularly true for our wounded warriors, those brave men and women who live every day with emotional and often painful injuries borne on the battlefield. Housing, job training, education and health care make up the ‘duffel bag’ of issues that these military heroes must shoulder long after they return home.

“On this Veterans Day, as we pause to reflect on the privilege of freedom, the price of it and our duty to it, let us do so with a renewed commitment to help our veterans enjoy the very way of life they have fought so hard to protect.”

Contact: Michele Nix +1-202-833-2008