Vol. 53, No. 5

In this edition

This edition of the Forum is a small tribute to the men and women who put their lives on the line in defense of our freedom, and thanking those heroes this Veterans Day.

Let History Guide Us on Veterans Day

The price of freedom is never free. That is the lesson today’s Veterans continue to teach us.

Service, Sacrifice, and a Sacred Duty

Veterans Day is our national holiday to honor the sacrifice of our veterans and to celebrate their bravery and skill. 

“I’ll Never Forget My Time in Military Service.”

The VA should absolutely be held accountable for how they help care for our veterans, and I’m continuing to press them on that issue.

More Than a Day of Remembrance, Veterans Day is a Call to Action.

I am humbled daily by the sacrifice that countless men, women, and families endure on behalf of a grateful nation.

“It Takes a Special Person to Take Up Arms in Defense of Our Country.”

As a Marine, I swore to always remain faithful to those serving by my side.

“We Will Always Need Defenders, and We Will Always Protect Them.”

I am a firm believer that we must honor the commitments we’ve made to our veterans – those who place themselves in harm’s way to defend our values and way of life.

“Their Willingness to Protect this Country Shall Never be Forgotten.”

Their willingness to protect this country shall never be forgotten, and I want our Veterans to know their service and patriotism is very much appreciated.

“Service is Always Greater than Self.”

Outside of becoming a father and grandfather, having the unique opportunity to lead Marines in the fight has always been the proudest moment in my life.

“Never Forget”

Let’s get back to the things that defined America for generations: love of country, patriotism, optimism, and a deep appreciation of our veterans of past and present.

“We must Ensure Our Veterans Know that They are Not Alone.”

As we evaluate how best to help our veterans in the 21st century, I believe community is key.

“Every Service Member is United in Their Choice to Put Service Before Self.”

I became a bomb technician because I wanted to save lives and serve a cause greater than myself.

“We will Remain Always Faithful.”

Semper Fidelis is not just a slogan or creed; it is a way of life that only those who have earned the Eagle, Globe and Anchor can fully understand.

“It is Essential that We Take Care of Those Who Took Care of Us.”

Our country has sent generations of heroes to defend our freedom. It is essential that we take care of those who took care of us.

“Be Grateful for the Many Sacrifices that Keep Us Free.”

It is only with age that I have come to realize and truly understand the significance of the sacrifices that veterans made.

“To All of Our Nation’s Veterans, We Thank You”

My experience in uniform has taught me that focusing on a mission makes it harder to be distracted by other things.

“Let Us Never Forget Those Who Willingly Step Forward to Shoulder the Duty.”

We each benefit from the sacrifices of those who put their lives on the line to defend the freedom, peace, and prosperity we enjoy as a country.

“America Has Been a Shining Example of Freedom Because of Those Who Serve Her in Uniform.”

America has been a shining example of freedom because of those who serve her in uniform. To my fellow veterans, thank you and God bless you and your families!

“It Takes a Special Person to Take Up Arms in Defense of Our Country.”

Captain Todd Young

In August, I traveled to a tiny diner in Auburn, Indiana, to present a medal that was nearly 75 years in the making. Over the last few months, I’ve thought a lot about that moment at Sandra D’s Café and what it meant to me. On this Veterans Day, I’d like to share those lessons.

Veterans Day is our national opportunity to thank the men and women who have fought to defend our great nation. Veterans and their families have made tremendous sacrifices, and they deserve our gratitude and respect.

I had the opportunity to serve 10 years in the military – including an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy and a commission in the Marine Corps. I saw firsthand the sacrifices our men and women in uniform make, and learned just how much courage and sacrifice is required of our troops.

That’s why I continue to wear a memorial bracelet around my wrist as a constant reminder of the ultimate sacrifice countless Americans have made for you, me, and our cherished freedoms.

The bracelet I wear honors Lance Corporal Alec Terwiske. Alec was a fellow Marine from the small town of Dubois, Indiana. On September 3, 2012, the community was rocked when Alec was tragically killed in Afghanistan. His mom Sandy asked me to wear this bracelet to honor his memory, and I do so proudly every day.

As a Marine, I swore to always remain faithful to those serving by my side.

The bracelet helps me keep the right perspective on the things that matter most. This includes making sure we honor our commitment to the men and women who have served.

It takes a special person to take up arms in defense of our country. It requires a true belief that there is a cause greater than oneself, and a desire to put it all on the line for strangers they will never meet for the good of the nation.

That very belief makes me think back to that café in Auburn. Sandra D’s father, Robert Egli, was a World War II veteran who survived the war and lived a long and happy life back home in Indiana. Through a series of fortuitous events, I was able to help Sandra recover Robert’s missing Bronze Star.

During a battle in the Second World War, Robert’s unit saved the lives of 511 American prisoners of war in the Pacific Theater. His actions allowed them to return home, marry their sweethearts, start a family, and live the American dream. Now, those hundreds of Americans have children and grandchildren who are alive today as a result of his beautiful act of courage, patriotism, and sacrifice.

For these reasons and more, we must never stop working to ensure our veterans receive the respect that they deserve. As a Marine, I swore to always remain faithful to those serving by my side. That includes ensuring our veterans receive the care they are due after they return home.

The United States Senate and this Administration are doing more for veterans than any period in recent memory.

Last year, the VA MISSION Act, which I was proud to cosponsor, became law and dramatically improved the way our veterans receive care. Many Hoosier veterans want to be able to use their own local doctors instead of traveling to a VA clinic, and now they can.

We have made significant strides for our veterans in recent years, but we must always keep striving
to do more.

We also sped up the appeals process through the VA Appeals Modernization Act to ensure veterans get a quick response to claims and appeals. Under the old legacy system, appeals took an average of three to seven years. Now with the help of new computer systems, more employees, and a streamlined process, appeals are supposed to be ruled on within a year.

I have also taken steps to improve the ways our veterans are cared for in nursing homes, and to provide urgently needed support for veterans who may be contemplating suicide.

The Senate recently passed unanimously the VETS Safe Travel Act, a bill I introduced to provide severely disabled veterans with free TSA PreCheck in airports. The bill has the potential to help 70,000 amputee, 100,000 paralyzed, and 130,000 blind veterans currently subjected to a rigorous and demeaning screening process when traveling.

We have made significant strides for our veterans in recent years, but we must always keep striving to do more.

George Washington said, “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

This Veterans Day, and every day, I encourage you to remember our veterans.

Todd Young is the senior U.S. Senator for Indiana. He served previously in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.