Uploaded on Nov 12, 2011
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced that Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV), an Army reserve physician, will highlight bipartisan efforts to combat veterans unemployment in the Weekly Republican Address for November 12, 2011. As part of a Veterans Day tribute, Rep. Heck will talk about how important it is to lend a hand to our veterans as they look for work in an economy struggling to create jobs. Last month, the House overwhelmingly passed the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, which the Senate will act on today.
"Hello, I'm Congressman Joe Heck from the great state of Nevada.
"As an active member of the Army Reserve for more than 20 years, I have a deep appreciation for my fellow servicemen and women, as well as their families. On Veterans Day, we consider the debt of gratitude we owe all these brave patriots for the sacrifices they've made so that we may live free.
"I've deployed three times in my military career, most recently in 2008 to western Iraq, where I was running the emergency services section of a combat support hospital.
"One night, we got the call over the radio from a helicopter saying they were coming in with a Marine who had been shot. We got ready and waited. About two minutes out the radio crackled again and the medic on the helicopter said they'd lost him. Still, we did everything we could. We were unsuccessful. He was 20 years old.
"After the nursing staff carefully washed away the desert sand and dirt of battle, two of my medics came in with an American flag. I'm not sure where they got it -- it might have come off the flagpole in front of the hospital. They proceeded to gently drape the Stars and Stripes over the body. They then took up a position of parade rest at the foot of the bed and stood there. And stood there, and stood there.
"Four hours later, I asked, 'Do you guys need a break?' Their answer was, 'Sir, never leave a fallen comrade.'
"Such is the caliber of the men and women we call 'veterans.' They've left stories like this all over the world. Love of country inspires them to serve, and looking out for one another is their highest priority on the battlefield. We can all learn a lot from that.
"So whenever you meet a veteran or see a young man or woman in uniform on the street, please take the opportunity to say 'thank you.' It's the least we can do. And it's how we keep the spirit of Veterans Day alive all year round.
"There's more to it than that, of course. We owe it to our veterans to ensure they come home to a strong economy, so they can transition into civilian life and support their family with a good paying job.
"Last month, the House of Representatives passed the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, which would provide training and assistance to unemployed veterans, and break down bureaucratic barriers preventing them from finding work. It's smart legislation that members of both parties support, and I'm pleased the Senate passed it.
"We have a lot more to do. The House has passed several bipartisan bills to ensure all Americans have the opportunity to secure a good job to provide for their families. All of these jobs bills deserve the support of our Senators and a strong show of leadership from the president. Because with unemployment still much too high, we just can't wait to take bipartisan action that will help put Americans back to work. Together, we can rise above politics to make certain our nation remains great and worthy of our veterans' sacrifices.
"God bless our military and the country they so gallantly serve."
Standard YouTube License