Honoring Our Nation’s Veterans
On the mornings that I am in Washington, D.C., I often run along the National Mall and visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I like to stop at the Memorial and run my hands across the wall, where there are more than 58,000 names etched into the black granite. As the last Vietnam veteran in the U.S Senate, those names hold a special place in my heart, because they are not just names, they are 58,000 heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice.
On this Veterans Day, as I do every year, I take a moment to remember those who have fought bravely in the name of democracy and those who did not make it home defending our country. I take a moment to pray for those currently serving at home and abroad, fighting to protect the principles we have enshrined in our Constitution. And I take a moment to do what I can to Welcome Home veterans that did not get the fanfare they deserved, particularly in 2023 as we commemorate 50 years since the last combat troops left South Vietnam.
Earlier this month, I hosted the annual Delaware Veterans Summit to hear from veterans on the ground about what more I can do in Congress to support them. Along with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Deputy Secretary Tanya Bradsher, we heard from national and local leaders in the veterans community about the importance of legislation like the historic PACT Act. I strongly supported this bipartisan legislation and was proud to see President Biden sign it into law in 2022. Since its enactment, I have traveled up and down Delaware sharing the benefits of the PACT Act, which expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for more than 3.5 million veterans with toxic exposures, including veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War and post-9/11 eras.
You can watch a recap of the Summit here or by clicking on the image below. You can also read about my history of military service and the importance of thanking our troops in the National Journal and on Military.com.
Click the image to watch a recap of my 2023 Delaware Veterans Summit.
I’m proud to be a 23-year Navy veteran and the last Vietnam veteran serving in the U.S. Senate. From those who fought in World War II, to those serving today, I salute you. As we say in the Navy, Bravo Zulu, and thank you for your service.