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!

“Never Forget”

Veterans Day. To some, it’s a day off from work. To some, it’s a time to remember their time serving.  To others, it’s a painful reminder of a loved one they’ve lost. It means something different for all of us. But maybe it shouldn’t.

Last year on Veterans Day, I found myself in a situation that proved reality was stranger than fiction. I had just made an appearance on Saturday Night Live the night before. When given the opportunity to do so, I was reluctant. I didn’t feel like it was the right way to spend Veterans Day weekend. I asked the producers to pick a different weekend. The producers at SNL said it had to be this weekend precisely because this appearance would be about honoring veterans. So I decided to do it.

The show gave me the chance to remind America about the things that bring us together. Appreciating our veterans is still one of them. But there is no doubt that we’re losing many of the symbols that brought us together as Americans. Things like the National Anthem, the American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance used to be seen as patriotic, things that were distinctly American and made us proud to be from the greatest country in the history of the world. That’s no longer the case today. Those historic symbols are offensive to some, slowly but surely pushing a sense of patriotism out of our society.

Many Americans are disconnected from the veteran community. According to data from 2016, just 7% of Americans are veterans. In 1980, that figure was 18%. The civilian-military divide is growing, with fewer and fewer Americans who know someone who served in the military.  As someone who served, I understand why. They are two completely different lifestyles, which is why veterans typically struggle with returning to civilian life. It’s hard for veterans to imagine the regular work life, just like it’s hard for a civilian to fathom life in combat. But like General Jim Mattis, I believe this is something we can change. Mattis said: “If we can create a society where respect and friendliness is the passport that we all have when we meet each other … then the military, who literally will go in harm’s way for us, will not seem alien anymore.” This was a key point we wanted to make that night on Saturday Night Live.

By saying “never forget,” you’re telling a veteran you appreciate everything they’ve done for our country.

We can start by focusing on Veterans Day. As I did last year, I challenge every American to say “never forget” to a veteran this Veterans Day instead of “thank you for your service.” Saying “never forget” shows veterans you’ve shared that experience with us. It doesn’t matter that you weren’t serving with us; it doesn’t matter that you might not know where we served, when, or how we served. But by saying “never forget,” you’re telling a veteran you appreciate everything they’ve done for our country and that you’re in it with them.  It’s not some mysterious unknown reality.  It’s a fellow American who is fighting or fought to keep our country safe. It’s important we let them know how much that means to us, even if we can’t fathom how they did it.

This Veterans Day, 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.

Never Forget.

Dan Crenshaw represents the 2nd District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dan was medically retired in September of 2016 as a Lieutenant Commander after serving ten years in the SEAL Teams. He left service with two Bronze Stars (one with Valor), the Purple Heart, the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor, and multiple other awards.