09 November 2012
Paying Tribute to Our Veterans

Col. Alan J. Darden, commander of the United States Army Garrison Fort Detrick

This Sunday is Veterans Day. The brave action of our veterans endures in the pages of our history. On Sunday, I want us all to not only remember their gallantry on the battlefield, but also spend a moment reflecting on the lasting legacy of strength and service they brought with them when they returned home.

If you walk away remembering three things, you will be filled with gratitude for what our veterans do for this nation, and you'll be motivated to do whatever you can do to help them.

First, remember that during their careers and their lives -- and you can see this throughout history -- veterans continue to improve their skills, ensuring they remain strong for themselves, their families, their communities and their nation.

Second, keep in mind that our leadership is committed to lifelong success for our Service members, veterans, and their families by connecting them with opportunities for employment, education and further service, out of uniform, in communities throughout the United States.

Finally, be aware that supporting our veterans requires a team approach by the Department of Defense, other government agencies, local communities and you.

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, almost three million American men and women have answered our nation's call to arms - to serve their country in the uniformed services of the United States. Now, after 11 years of war, more than 1.3 million service men and women who deployed overseas have returned to our communities.

As we near the conclusion of combat operations in Afghanistan, the Army will become smaller over the next five years. More than 130,000 Soldiers will leave the Army this year, and more than 500,000 by 2017.

The young men and women who volunteer every day are the best of us. They are strong and resilient, creative and determined. I know this generation will join the remarkable generations of men and women who wore the uniform, and left an enduring mark on this nation.

These young men and women are counting on us to come through for them and their families as they leave the uniformed service. Let's not let them down. Let's work together to ensure our veterans, like past generations, have the tools for the jobs to continue building a stronger nation. I encourage you to see the strength of our veterans and their families, and to look for ways to help them. Let your words, like our veterans, bring forth action.

Posted by PAO

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   - the official newspaper for Fort Detrick.
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