Two years after his visit to Fort Bliss that marked the end of the combat mission in Iraq, President Obama returned there today to speak to the troops, and discuss his commitment to standing by those who served as the nation winds down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now, when I was here last, I made you a pledge. I said that, as President, I will insist that America serves you and your families as well as you've served us. And there again, I meant what I said. Because part of ending wars responsibly is caring for those who fought in it. That’s why I wanted to come back to Bliss on this anniversary to reaffirm our solemn obligations to you and your families.You see, we may be turning a page on a decade of war, but America's responsibilities to you have only just begun.
“Just as we give you the best equipment and technology on the battlefield,” the President said, “we need to give you the best care and support when you come home.” This includes continuing the efforts underway to strengthen and expand health care and mental health care service for troops, particularly for veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD, and providing resources to help returning service members get the education, training, and support they need to transition back into the civilian workforce. It also means giving our military families the respect and the support that they deserve.
“And as we go forward as one nation, if the American people need inspiration, they need only look at Bliss,” President Obama told the troops today.
For a decade, you have served under the dark cloud of war. You've endured great loss, and good men and women have given their last full measure of devotion. But we Americans are strong, and we are resilient, and we have resolve. And now, we can see a light -- the light of a new day on the horizon. And that’s because of you.
The war in Iraq is over. The transition is underway in Afghanistan. Our troops will keep coming home. And we are keeping our military ready for whatever the future may hold. But know this, Bliss -- we are moving forward stronger and more confident in knowing that when faced with great trials, we Americans do what we always do. We don’t just endure; we emerge stronger than before.
For more information:
- Learn about the Executive Order President Obama signed today and other steps his Administration has taken to protect and strengthen the health of our military, veterans and their families here at home.
- Visit Joining Forces, the First Lady and Dr. Biden's initiative that connects service members and their families with the resources they need to find jobs at home