WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement today in honor of Veterans Day:
“There is no greater sacrifice than placing oneself in harm’s way to keep others safe,” said Rep. Grijalva. “The men and women in our armed forces put our country over life and limb, and we celebrate that distinction today, and every year, on Veterans Day.
“But as we honor their courage and their sacrifice, we must recognize that for many veterans, the struggles of war continue long after they come home. Battles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), backlogs for VA services, and simply acclimating into our society may not grab the same headlines as stories about the frontlines, but our service members fight them nonetheless. So as we celebrate all that our veterans have given us, we must keep in mind that there is still much we can give back as well.”
Grijalva’s remarks come one day after the Department of Veterans Affairs announced internal changes in the wake of a national scandal that left one hundred thousand veterans waiting for healthcare services. The VA announced disciplinary actions have been taken against 5,600 employees since last year, in what will amount to the largest reorganization in the agency’s history.
“The steps announced by the VA yesterday are a necessary and productive first step,” Grijalva continued. “But they are only that: a first step.
“The benefits we provide are modest in exchange for a debt of gratitude that cannot be fully repaid. But on Veterans Day – and every day – our focus must be on doing all we can to live up to the sacrifices our veterans have made for us.”