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Each Veterans Day is a solemn occasion when we, as a nation, reflect and show gratitude to those who have served or are currently serving in our military and the families who support them. On this Veterans Day, I’d especially like to thank New Mexico’s veterans for their commitment to protect our country and its interests. New Mexico has a long and proud history of military service, and we are honored to have many living testaments to American bravery in our state.
This bravery has been exhibited by those who fought for the Union in the Civil War at Glorieta Pass, by the National Guardsmen who were captured at Bataan, and the Navajo codetalkers who safeguarded our military secrets. New Mexicans have displayed their courage defending our country on the frozen steppes of Korea, in the jungles of Vietnam, and on desert sands during the first Gulf War. And today, this tradition lives on by our sons and daughters who have selflessly served in Afghanistan and Iraq and in countless other countries where Americans are deployed.
Like many Americans, New Mexican veterans are also suffering from this terrible economic downturn. I commit to further my efforts to ensure that those who have served this country are not trapped by unemployment. Part of the solution to creating good paying jobs is through higher education, and the recently-passed Post 9/11 GI Bill is providing those benefits to hundreds of thousands of veterans so far, just as the original GI bill did for veterans returning from WWII.
Today we honor the service of all of our veterans, but let us not limit our appreciation of their sacrifice to one day a year. To this end, I pledge to continue my work in the Senate on their behalf, and once again extend my sincere thanks to our veterans and their families for all the sacrifices they have made. I stand ready to assist you in any way that I can.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman