November 10, 2016

Cardin Applauds Myriad Contributions of Service Members, Families on Veterans Day 2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) issued the following statement commemorating Veterans Day 2016, which is tomorrow, Nov. 11.

“As America celebrates Veterans Day, I join in honoring our veterans’ service to our country. Above all, we recognize that their service often comes with profound sacrifice, both on their own part and by their loved ones. Yet still they served. Still they risked life and limb to protect us, to defend our values, to guard our freedoms and interests, all without any expectation of fame or reward.

Our nation’s veterans represent the best of America. They are the bravest among us. And the United States is a free and flourishing country thanks to them. We owe them that recognition not only today, but every day. It is therefore worth taking the time to appreciate the men and women who put us first, and to whom we owe so much.

Army Captain Florent Groberg, who graduated from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, competed on the varsity track team at the University of Maryland before graduating with his degree in criminal justice. Last year, he received the Medal of Honor. During his last of three tours of duty, Groberg lost nearly half of his left calf muscle – leading to significant nerve damage – and suffered a mild traumatic brain injury. He was granted medical retirement, but today continues to serve the Department of Defense honorably as a civilian employee.

Army Sargent Adam Thomas of Takoma Park served one tour of duty in Iraq before courageously signing up for a second in Afghanistan. Just a few weeks ago, on October 4th, he was killed in service when an improvised explosive device detonated near his patrol. He was only 31. Thomas was awarded a Purple Heart, but no medal or recognition can ever repay the debt he and his family are owed by us all.

Airman First Class Nathaniel McDavitt from Glen Burnie also gave his life in service to ours, determined at the young age of 22 to join the fight against ISIL. He was an Eagle Scout, a graduate of Severna Park High School, and according to his commander Air Force Maj. David Marce, an exemplary airman. Last year he was recognized as his squadron’s top airman for his work on F-16s. He loved working on engines and playing football.

There are many other Marylanders, many other families, deserving of our collective gratitude. I encourage everyone to observe Veterans Day by recognizing them, thanking them, and letting them know their service and sacrifices have not been forgotten.

Toward that end, I was proud to have championed authorization for a new Wall of Remembrance at the Korean War Veterans Memorial. The Wall of Remembrance would list the names of U.S. service members who died in the Korean War, as well as the number of those who were wounded in action, went missing in action, or were prisoners of war. Our veterans deserve to have their names permanently inscribed on the walls of history, so that future generations may see the countless individuals to whom they owe their prosperity.

Our veterans, however, deserve far more than medals and memorials. They deserve the tools and resources to succeed once they return home. They deserve to have our promises on education, job training and housing benefits kept. And they deserve to be remembered and considered every day, not only on Veterans Day, as we move forward and make decisions about the future of our country.

Today I extend my deepest gratitude for their service and salute all those who have bravely put on a uniform.”

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