By Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA)

No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services. To those who have served– and to those who currently wear the uniform – thank you.

Every American owes a debt of gratitude to our nation’s veterans, all of whom made personal sacrifices to protect the rights and liberties we hold so dear.  I urge every Iowan to take a moment this Veterans’ Day to show our veterans how grateful we are for their service.  Let’s also remember the military families who also must make great sacrifices and deal with the prolonged absence – and sometimes the loss – of a loved one.

This Veterans Day, an Iowa soldier who recently returned from deployment in Afghanistan is receiving some special recognition.  Lt. Jacob Miller, a resident of Adel, will be marching in a Veterans Day parade in New York and taking part in other Veterans Day observances courtesy of a Long Island high school.

Students at Rambam Mesivta High School sent hundreds of pounds of care packages to Lt. Miller’s unit in Afghanistan.  When Lt. Miller responded with a thank-you note, he established a personal connection with the students.  The students decided to show their respect and gratitude for Lt. Miller’s service by flying him and his wife, Stacy, from Iowa to New York for the Veterans Day weekend, during which Lt. Miller joined students to distribute gifts to injured veterans at St. Albans Veterans Hospital in Queens, New York.  Lt. Miller was also the keynote speaker at assemblies at Rambam Mesivta and its sister school Shalhevet, on Thursday.  Lt. Miller and Stacy will march in the Veterans Day Parade on Friday and be treated to a weekend in New York courtesy of the students and families of the school.

It’s my sincere hope that we can all learn from the example of these students and let the veterans and active duty service members in our lives like Lt. Miller know how much we appreciate their service.
Veterans Day, which is celebrated on the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I, began as a tribute to Americans who died fighting in that conflict.  Congress later passed a law in 1938 to officially make Nov. 11 a national holiday.  Today, Veterans Day is recognized as a time to honor all who have served.

It is my highest duty and privilege to represent Iowa veterans in the U.S. House of Representatives. We must do everything we can to deliver on the benefits our veterans and soldiers were promised.  They have provided us with a powerful model of character, discipline and patriotism, even as they often regard their own military service with modesty and humility.  This Veterans’ Day, let’s show them how much their service means to us.

Congressman Tom Latham serves Iowa’s 4th Congressional District

 

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