Today we pause to thank the many brave men and women who have valiantly served our country in the armed forces, defending this great nation so that the rest of us may go about our lives freely and peacefully.
We at NPI are especially grateful for the service of our own Rick Hegdahl (U.S. Navy Retired), who served two tours of duty in the Iraqi theater a decade ago, and to all friends and supporters of NPI who are veterans, like Matt Isenhower, Chad Lupkes, Andy Ribaudo, Joel Ware, Jay Clough, and many more.
President Barack Obama commemorated the occasion with a speech at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, where he was joined by many veterans, including America’s oldest known female World War II veteran, Army Lieutenant Colonel Luta C. McGrath, who is turning one hundred and eight this month.
Obama made a pitch during his remarks for employers to hire veterans, saying:
Our tributes today will also ring hollow if we don’t provide our veterans with the jobs and opportunities that you need when you come home. That’s why we’ve helped more than 1.5 million veterans and their families pursue an education under the Post‑9/11 GI bill.
That’s why we worked to make sure that every state now provides veterans and their families with in-state tuition. It’s why we’re fighting to make it easier for our veterans to get the licenses and certifications to transition the outstanding skills they gained in the armed services to civilian jobs. It’s why we’re helping more veterans and military spouses find jobs. And today, the veterans’ unemployment rate is down to 3.9 percent — even lower than the national average.
But this can’t just be a job for government. We all have a role to play. I realize that with less than 1 percent of Americans serving in uniform, the other 99 percent of folks don’t always see and appreciate the incredible skills and assets that our veterans can offer. On this Veterans Day, here’s what I want every American to know: Our veterans are some of the most talented, driven, capable people on Earth.
Good on you for saying this, Mr. President.
Again, Happy Veterans Day, and thanks to all those NPI supporters and Cascadia Advocate readers who have served. We are forever grateful.