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11 November 2008

Jim Martin: "I am grateful to the millions who served our country"

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Martin released the following statement today in recognition of Veterans Day:

Every year as we mark Veterans Day I feel simultaneously grateful and humbled. Like all Americans, I am grateful to the millions who have served our country and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. And like all veterans, I’m humbled by the outpouring of support from my fellow countrymen.

I’m not a war hero, I just served my country like so many Americans. When I shipped off to Vietnam, Joan was left alone to take care of our two month old daughter Morgan. The kind of sacrifice that Joan made in caring for Morgan alone is the kind that many Georgia families are experiencing right now. In Vietnam, I served as an intelligence officer in Saigon, and will never forget the lessons I learned there. I came away from my tour of duty understanding the importance of personal responsibility as well as the importance of working together towards a common objective.

I’m proud of my service in Vietnam, but one thing I’m not proud of is the way Washington has treated far too many veterans when they return home. Shocking conditions at Walter Reed Hospital, inadequate funding for healthcare, unacceptable numbers of homeless veterans, and difficulty finding jobs or affording college are just some of the problems we know our finest face. The scars of war are both physical and unseen, and ensuring our nation’s veterans receive the best treatment possible should be our top priority.

This Veterans Day, all of America must renew our pledge to our veterans: we honor your service, we are touched by your sacrifice, and we will do everything in our power to serve you as you have served us.

Thank you to those who have served, and thank you to all Americans for your continued support of me and my fellow veterans. We have served you in war, but you have served us in your support, thoughts, and prayers.