Obama Urges Nation to Salute Service in Iraq

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2010 — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma called on the Amer­i­can peo­ple today to pro­vide new care, oppor­tu­ni­ty and com­mit­ment to the mil­lion mil­i­tary men and women who’ve served in Iraq.

 -
On Aug. 31, 2010, Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma will mark the end of America’s com­bat mis­sion in Iraq. Learn how you can join the pres­i­dent in salut­ing the military’s ser­vice in Iraq. Go to the White House web­site for four ways you can share your salute.
White House pho­to by Pete Souza, April 7, 2009
Click to enlarge

After more than sev­en years, the Unit­ed States “will end its com­bat mis­sion in Iraq and take an impor­tant step for­ward in respon­si­bly end­ing the Iraq war,” he said dur­ing his week­ly radio address.

That respon­si­bil­i­ty, he stressed, includes car­ing for the men and women in uni­form who vol­un­teered to fight.

“What this new gen­er­a­tion of vet­er­ans must know is this: our nation’s com­mit­ment to all who wear its uni­form is a sacred trust that is as old as our repub­lic itself,” he said. “It is one that, as pres­i­dent, I con­sid­er a moral oblig­a­tion to uphold.”

He called upon the the nation to pay trib­ute to all who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, not­ing the two wars are America’s longest con­tin­u­ous com­bat engage­ment. “For the bet­ter part of a decade,” he said, “our troops and their fam­i­lies have served tour after tour with hon­or and hero­ism, risk­ing and often giv­ing their lives for the defense of our free­dom and secu­ri­ty.”

Some U.S. troops will remain to sup­port and train Iraqi forces, part­ner with Iraqis in coun­tert­er­ror­ism mis­sions, and pro­tect civil­ian and mil­i­tary efforts, he said. But he pledged all U.S. troops will be home from Iraq by the end of next year.

More than a mil­lion U.S. troops have served in Iraq and more than a mil­lion who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined the ranks of America’s vet­er­ans. Oba­ma said his admin­is­tra­tion has worked to make the nation’s vet­er­ans pol­i­cy more respon­sive.

“We’re build­ing a 21st cen­tu­ry VA, mod­ern­iz­ing and expand­ing VA hos­pi­tals and health care, and adapt­ing care to bet­ter meet the unique needs of female vet­er­ans,” he said. “We’re cre­at­ing a sin­gle elec­tron­ic health record that our troops and vet­er­ans can keep for life. We’re break­ing the claims back­log and reform­ing the process with new paper­less sys­tems.” Oba­ma added that wound­ed war­rior facil­i­ties are being built through­out the Defense Depart­ment, and more is being done to help those suf­fer­ing from Trau­mat­ic Brain Injury and Post-Trau­mat­ic Stress Dis­or­der.

“For many of our troops and their fam­i­lies, the war does­n’t end when they come home,” he said. “Too many suf­fer from Trau­mat­ic Brain Injury and Post-Trau­mat­ic Stress Dis­or­der – the sig­na­ture injuries of today’s wars – and too few receive prop­er screen­ing or care. We’re chang­ing that.

“We’re direct­ing sig­nif­i­cant resources to treat­ment, hir­ing more men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als, and mak­ing major invest­ments in aware­ness, out­reach and sui­cide pre­ven­tion,” he said. “And we’re mak­ing it eas­i­er for a vet with PTSD to get the ben­e­fits he or she needs.”

First lady Michelle Oba­ma and Jill Biden, wife of Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden, have forged a nation­al com­mit­ment to sup­port mil­i­tary fam­i­lies, he not­ed. This includes new sup­port for care­givers who put their lives on hold for a loved one’s long recov­ery, and fund­ing and imple­ment­ing the Post‑9/11 GI Bill, which is already help­ing some 300,000 vet­er­ans and their fam­i­ly mem­bers pur­sue a col­lege edu­ca­tion.

New resources are also being devot­ed to job train­ing and place­ment to help vet­er­ans try­ing to find work in “a very tough econ­o­my,” the pres­i­dent said. “I’ve direct­ed the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment to hire more vet­er­ans, includ­ing dis­abled vet­er­ans, and I encour­age every busi­ness in Amer­i­ca to fol­low suit.

“This new gen­er­a­tion of vet­er­ans has proven itself to be a new gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers,” he stressed. “They have unmatched train­ing and skills; they’re ready to work; and our coun­try is stronger when we tap their extra­or­di­nary tal­ents.”

The pres­i­dend closed his address by encour­ag­ing peo­ple to vis­it whitehouse.gov to send the troops text and video mes­sages of thanks and sup­port.

“Let them know that they have the respect and sup­port of a grate­ful nation,” he said. “That when their tour ends; when they see our flag; when they touch our soil; they’ll always be home in an Amer­i­ca that is for­ev­er here for them – just as they’ve been there for us.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →