COLUMN: A Legacy of Service

by Tom Cole

By Congressman Tom Cole

The legacy of American military service extends beyond the founding of our nation. Throughout history, tens of millions of individuals have selflessly answered the call to secure, defend and preserve freedom. With Veterans Day approaching, we are not only reminded of how thankful we are for the selfless service of those who answered the call to serve, but also the duty we have to them as a nation upon their return from service.

America indeed remains free because of those who willingly take the oath to defend our country. As we recognize the selfless service of our veterans rendered throughout history, including by the millions living among us today, we also solemnly remember those who did not make it home. Additionally, we thank the generations of family members and loved ones who have made significant sacrifices while supporting our men and women in uniform.

While we can never do enough to repay the sacrifices made by America’s veterans, the needs of our veteran community remain at the forefront of my mind as I represent the Fourth Congressional District of Oklahoma. While I was making stops across the district last month, I had the privilege of visiting the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs facilities in Sulphur and Norman, where my own father received top quality care in his later years of life. Spending time with those who served always moves me a great deal.

To further our nation's support of our veterans, I was proud to recently vote in favor of the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022, which expands healthcare eligibility to veterans who participated in toxic exposure risk activity while serving our country. I remain committed to fighting for veterans’ interests while I have the privilege of serving in Congress.

Veterans Day should be a day of rest and thankfulness for all Americans. Take time with your family and friends to remember all of those, from the American Revolution to today, who have worn our nation’s uniform. Our veterans are an American treasure, and deserve this holiday dedicated to commemorating the sacrifices of time, blood, sweat and tears that they have given so that the United States and its allies remain free.

If you are a veteran and have experienced problems or have questions related to your earned benefits, please contact my Norman office at 405-329-6500, so my staff can help you get answers. Also, if you are a veteran experiencing a crisis, please call the Veterans Crisis Line at 988 and press 1, or text the number 838255 to receive confidential support. You can also chat with someone online at www.veteranscrisisline.net.



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