BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and a senior member of the committees on Foreign Relations, Finance and Environment and Public Works, issued the following statement on the occasion of Veterans Day 2020, which is November 11.
“On this, the 11th day of the 11th month, we celebrate the courage and dedication of all the military men and women who have defended our nation throughout the years. We support all those who have stood on the front lines and anywhere their country needed to protect the freedoms, universal rights and ideals of the United States of America. We are forever grateful for their sacrifices in keeping our country safe at home and abroad.
“Known as Armistice Day in much of the world, marking the end of World War I, we use this moment to thank these brave souls for their service and courage. We also join in solidarity with the all-too-many Gold Star Families who are left on this day with a much more personal loss and sense of grief.
“Here in Maryland we have close to 400,000 veterans, with more on their way home. We are committed to supporting our veterans in civilian life, as we do on the battlefield. This means providing the resources and benefits they earned through their service such as health care, education, housing and career counseling for them and the families that have stood by them deployment after deployment. No one who has served in our nation’s military should ever want for food or a safe place to call home.
“As a nation, we also must also invest in research for mental health treatments and services. Approximately, half a million U.S. troops who have served in the last 13 years suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We must normalize the conversation about mental health diagnoses, similar to discussions of physical ailments. We must also ensure that mental health treatments and services are widely available and easily accessible for veterans.
“Better addressing mental health services not only serves veterans themselves, but also better serves the families and loved ones of our military personnel. They, too, provide necessary day-to-day support for active duty military and veterans alike, and share in the sacrifice that come with serving our country.
“On this day, which was meant to be the anniversary of the end of ‘the war to end all wars,’ we honor all our veterans – all those who dedicated their lives in military service to a higher calling for our nation. Their cause is freedom. Their cause is justice and protecting the rule of law. We salute these men and women and, as they did for us, we dedicate ourselves to their wellbeing and building a stronger, healthier future for them and their families.”