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Medal of honor recipients -- -- Brian Thacker secretary so please senator Murkowski.
Undersecretary Joseph Westphal other Department of Defense leaders.
Vice chairman and missiles one -- -- other leaders of our uniformed services.
In the case of our own department deputy secretary Scott Gould.
Our deputy secretary other VA colleagues.
-- once again right Delanie national president of the retired enlisted association.
Our co host for this year's celebration.
Representatives of all of our other veterans service organizations.
Fellow veterans other distinguished guests ladies and gentlemen.
-- -- four years ago today the guns of world war along fell silent all along the western front.
Today we gather at this -- national shrine.
And thank Americans of every generation -- throughout our history.
Advance of the call -- call of duty to safeguard our nation during time of war.
And during periods of restless peace.
22 million veterans.
Veterans today have distinguished themselves.
By their service and uniform.
Their devotion and sacrifice on the bedrock of our sovereignty as a nation.
Our values as a people.
Our security as a democracy.
And our offer of hope that those and other lands who dream of the freedoms that we enjoy.
The service of veterans has provided all of us the gift of liberty.
Golden Globe voice of Loral -- on -- gone.
Our veterans today represented every other generation sense.
And so as we gather today.
Before the start of the coming seasons of both Thanksgiving and gift giving.
We are grateful for the blessings bestowed on our country.
This legacy of liberty continues.
For the past eleven years the men and women of our armed forces have stood watch.
And Iraq Afghanistan.
But also Europe and Korea and more than a 150.
Other countries around the below.
More than one point five million veterans have served in combat in the combat theaters of Iraq and Afghanistan on the Horn of Africa.
Since 9/11 nearly three million veterans of the part of the military.
Having fulfilled their duty to the nation.
Nearly four years ago the president asked asked me to do two things.
First make things better for veterans.
And then transform.
The Department of Veterans Affairs to better serve veterans well into the 21 century.
And in doing so he also provided leadership and support.
That resulted in increases to the VA's budgets by nearly 40% between 2009.
And this year 2013.
These -- the resources which have greatly enhance the care and services.
We're able to provide to millions of veterans.
Well over 800000 of them have been added to VA's health care -- since 2000 -- mine.
Disability compensation for 3.5 three million veterans.
Including more than 359000.
Who are 100%.
Over ten billion dollars in annual education benefits to more than a million student veterans and family members eligible family members.
Finally the country's largest national cemetery system.
Where veterans are laid to rest a national shrines.
Befitting their service and sacrifice.
And finally one last time let me acknowledge the wonders accomplished by the First Lady and doctor Biden.
Through their joining forces initiative I want to thank them both for the genuine care and concern they have for service members.
For veterans and their families.
Veterans couldn't ask for stronger applicants.
Than the president the vice president the First Lady and doctor Biden.
And that is why ladies and gentlemen it's migrate personal and professional honor.
To present to you our commander in chief the president of the United States of America.
Good morning -- one.
Thank you sectors -- -- for.
A lifetime of service for our nation.
For being such tireless advocate on behalf of America's veterans.
Including your fellow Vietnam veterans.
-- -- -- To Vice President Biden.
Admiral what -- felt.
Major general Wellington.
Are outstanding veterans service organizations.
Are men and women in uniform.
Active guard and reserve.
And most of all to the proud veterans.
And family members joining us in the sacred place.
It is truly.
A privilege and honor to be -- all of you here today.
On the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
We pause as a nation and as -- people.
To pay tribute to you.
To thank you.
To honor you.
Over the generations.
Who have served.
This country of ours were distinction.
Moments ago I laid a -- To remember every service member was ever worn.
Our nation's uniform.
This very first and foremost belongs to that and their loved ones.
To the father mother.
Husband -- wife.
The brother and sister.
In the -- Who when we leave here today it will continue to walk these quiet hills and kneel before the final resting place.
Of those pictures most.
I'm -- American people.
I say -- you that the memory of your loved ones carries on not just in your hearts.
But in ours is well.
I assure you that their sacrifice.
Will never be forgotten.
Or does it meant sacrifice that -- -- the enduring spirit of America.
Since even before our founding we have been blessed with an unbroken chain.
Come forward to serve.
-- America has come under attack.
You've risen to her defense.
Whatever our freedoms.
Have come under assault.
You responded would result.
Time and again.
The -- -- wrong.
You and your family's sacrifice to protect the powerful promise that all of us hold -- -- Life liberty.
And pursuit of happiness.
A proud nation express our gratitude.
Well we do so mindful that no ceremony or parade.
Or handshake is enough to truly honor that service.
For that we must do more.
For that we must commit this day and every day.
To serving you as well as you've served us.
I spoke -- three years ago.
I spoke about today's generation of service members.
This 9/11 generation who stepped forward after the towers fell.
In the years sense of stepped into history.
Right -- one of the greatest chapters of military service our country's ever know.
You toppled a dictator and battled insurgency in Iraq.
You push back -- -- -- bomb and decimated al-Qaeda.
He deliver justice to Osama -- -- lot.
Tour after tour.
Year after year.
You and your families have done all this country has -- You've done that a more.
Three years ago I promised.
Your generation that when your tour -- comes to -- -- when you see our flag that when you touch our soil.
You'll be welcomed home to America the -- forever fight for you just as far as your fought for us.
And so long as -- in honor of serving as your commander in chief that is the promise.
That we will never stop working to keep.
This is the first veterans day and a decade.
In which there are no American troops.
Fighting and dying in Iraq.
Of our troops have now returned from Afghanistan and the transition there is under way.
After a decade of war.
Our heroes are coming home.
Over the next few years more than a million at the service members will transition back to civilian life.
We'll take off their uniforms.
And -- on a new and -- -- There will be veterans.
They come home.
If -- starts.
Their fellow citizens.
To be there for them and their families.
I just now but all what's.
-- just for the first few years but for as long.
As they walk.
To this day said.
We still care for child.
Of a -- veteran.
To this day we still care for over -- thousand children.
A man who fought in the Spanish American war.
Just last year I came here to pay tribute.
As frank buckles the last remaining American veteran of World War I was laid to rest.
Frank stepped up and served in World War I for two years the United States of America kept its commitment to serve him.
For many decades that follow.
So long after the battles that long after our heroes come home.
We -- -- other side.
That's who we are.
That's who will be for today's returning service members and their fans.
Because no one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for job.
A roof over their head -- the care they have earned.
When they come home.
We know the most urgent task.
Many of you face is finding a new way to serve.
That's why we made it a priority to help you.
Find jobs worthy of your incredible skills and talents.
That's -- thanks to the hard worker Michelle and Joseph Biden.
Some are most patriotic businesses.
Have hired or train a 125000.
Veterans and military spouses.
It's -- we're transforming for the first time in decades Howell.
The military transition -- service members from battlefield.
To the workplace.
Because you deserve to share in the opportunities that you defend.
We are making sure that the post 9/11 judge -- stays strong you can earn a college education and pursue your dreams.
If you find yourself struggling with the wounds of war.
Sisters posttraumatic stress disorder.
-- traumatic brain injury.
Will be there for you -- well with the care and treatment that you need.
No veteran should have to wait months or years.
For the benefits that you've -- so we will continue to attack.
The claims -- that we won't let up.
And as we mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Vietnam War.
We have secured a new disability benefits.
For Vietnam Arab veterans exposed.
To Agent Orange.
You needed it.
You fought for -- and we got a -- That's what we do.
We take care -- We take care of our -- We take care of your fans.
I just by saluting you on one day.
Once a year but by fighting for you and your families every day.
Of every year.
That's our obligation.
To all of it.
That's an obligation that we gladly accept.
For Americans like petty officer Taylor -- Six months ago Taylor was serving our nation Afghanistan.
And as a member of an explosive ordnance disposal team his job was one of the most dangerous -- it's.
Leave the way through territory littered with hidden explosives.
To clear the way for his Brothers in arms.
On May third ball out on patrol Taylor stepped on ID.
The blast threw him into the air.
When he hit the ground -- realize that both his legs were wrong.
And his left arm.
And his right -- Ms.
Taylor lay there fully conscious.
Bleeding to that.
He cautioned the medics to wait before rushing his way.
He feared another IE -- was nearby.
-- concern wasn't for his own life.
It was for theirs.
They cleared the area.
Intended to Taylor's -- They carried him off the battlefield.
And days later Taylor was carried -- Walter Reed where he became only the fifth American.
Freedom there to survive the amputation.
-- -- -- -- -- is recoveries -- law.
And it has been arduous.
And it's captivated the nation.
-- few months after the attack with the help of prosthetics.
The love and support of his family and above all his girlfriend Danielle who never left -- side.
Taylor wasn't just walking again.
In a video that went viral.
The world watched.
-- Danielle dance again.
-- -- the most public part of my job is serving as commander in chief.
And one of the reasons is that every day.
I get to meet heroes.
I met Taylor Walter Reed.
And then in July in the White House I presented him with a purple heart.
And right now hanging on the wall in the west wing -- a photo of that day.
A photo of Taylor's smiling -- -- and standing tall.
I should point out that Taylor couldn't make it here today because Syria and then -- -- out kayaking.
In Taylor was in -- best man.
The spirit that says what we get got knocked down.
We rise again.
When times are tough.
We come together.
When one of us falters.
We lift them up.
In this country we take care -- Especially our veterans who have served us so bravely.
Sacrificed so selflessly in -- -- We -- Knowing that our best -- always lie ahead.
On this day we thank.
All of our veterans.
From all of -- rules.
Not just for your service in this country.
But for reminding us why America is and always will be.
The greatest nation on earth.
God bless your god bless our veterans.
God bless our men and women in uniform.
God bless these united states of -- Thank you very much.
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