WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today issued the following statement in recognition of Veterans Day, which is Friday, Nov. 11.
“This Veterans Day we honor the service of those who have defended our nation and its ideals. Veterans personify the values of courage, integrity, and duty, representing a source of inspiration for all Americans. Their monumental contributions and sacrifices evoke our immense gratitude and support.
“A significant veteran population resides in Maryland. As of 2021, more than 377,000 veterans – including over 54,000 women – lived in Maryland. That same year, over 83,000 Maryland veterans received disability compensation from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Maryland’s Cemetery and Memorial 2021 Program conducted 3,929 burial services across the state’s five veterans’ cemeteries, interring 10 percent of the nation’s veterans.
“Maryland’s large veteran population underscores our collective responsibility to recognize their hardships at home. The impact of COVID-19t has been particularly severe on Maryland’s elderly veterans; over 40 percent of our veterans are aged 65 years or older. In 2020, 79 Marylanders who served in the U.S. Armed Forces committed suicide. Hundreds more were homeless. These disturbing numbers are unacceptable, requiring our uniform attention and response.
“In the light of these systemic issues, we must do more to improve the lives of veterans and their families. Educational opportunities and job training resources should offer valuable career assistance after service members retire from the Armed Forces. Moreover, we must bolster the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as it provides critical healthcare services, disability compensation, and life insurance to its enrollees. The physical and mental health of veterans is particularly important and we should normalize conversations about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and expand resources for its treatment.
“To our veterans across Maryland and the United States, we thank you for your greatest service to this state and country. Like any other day of the year, November 11 is a testament to your strength, resilience, and patriotism. We salute you and strive to follow your example.”