Bob Goodlatte: Remembering our bravest on Memorial Day

bob goodlatteThey fought for love of country – for a deeply held belief in freedom and liberty. Sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers, they gave their last full measure of devotion in service to the United States. As we mark Memorial Day, the American men and women lost in the line of duty are at the forefront of our minds. They are heroes in the truest sense of the word and exemplify what it means to serve selflessly.

While nothing we do can repay the cost these men and women have paid or take away the grief their families and loved ones have experienced, it is our duty to honor their service by ensuring that America remains true to the principles upon which it was founded. One of those principles is exactly that, provide for the common defense. This fundamental constitutional responsibility of the federal government is crucial to supporting both our men and women in uniform and our military’s readiness. Congress must ensure our troops have the resources they need. Our soldiers should not be forced to salvage aircraft parts from museums. This is why I voted in support of the National Defense Authorization Actto ensure that the U.S. military has the necessary resources to support our men and women on the front lines, provide a pay increase for our troops, and prepare our Armed Forces to face future threats.

We all owe a sincere debt of gratitude to those serving our nation today as well as the veterans who have served in the past in defense of freedom. It is important that we reaffirm our appreciation of these Americans on a daily basis. I take great offense at recent comments made by Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald comparing waiting in lines for health care at VA clinics to waiting in line at Disney. It is reckless to compare waiting months to see a doctor for life or death health care needs to the wait to take a spin on the teacups. These comments are not a representation of our country’s gratitude, and I find it appalling that they came from the very individual trusted with the care and services provided to veterans. Secretary McDonald owes our veterans much more respect.

Despite all of the challenges we may face, we do indeed live in a great nation. But this came at a price. I ask that you take a moment to reflect on our blessings as Americans, and remember these great lives of service. The liberties we enjoy each day are a direct result of the sacrifice and continued service of our men and women in uniform.

To all who serve, and have served, the United States, you are our best, our bravest, and we thank you. It’s not an easy job and we are truly grateful for your service. May God bless our troops and may He continue to bless the United States of America.

Bob Goodlatte represents the Sixth District of Virginia in Congress.

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