While a big crowd in Rio Rancho lined Southern Boulevard Saturday for the Veterans Day parade, two members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation released statements thanking veterans and celebrating the holiday.
U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury released the following statement to commemorate Veterans Day:
“On this Veterans Day, I want to say thank you to all of our service members who have proudly served and continue to serve this great nation. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. In New Mexico, service in our armed forces is a part of our history, culture and identity — and for countless generations, New Mexicans have proudly served across every county and community in the state.
“However, we know that it is not enough to say thank you alone. Veterans Day is also a day to recommit to ensuring that all of our veterans and their families have the resources they need to thrive. That is why I am deeply committed to ensuring we uphold the promises we made to our service members, not just in words, but with action. This includes our work to pass and implement the PACT Act, which expands VA benefits for more than 3 million veterans exposed to burn pits and other hazards, according to the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs. We’ve been working to pass legislation to expand access to education, health care and housing opportunities, to support our tribal veterans, honor combat veterans and their families, and honor all who have served.
“Still, we must do more. This includes ensuring that we never turn our backs on veterans or their families who sleep on the streets, who go hungry and who go without health care. Which is why, in the 118th Congress, I’ve cosponsored eight bills aimed at supporting our veterans in every aspect of their lives. In a state where service is deeply woven into our culture, we know how critical this care is for the health of our community. That’s why I am taking this Veterans Day to recommit to the fight for guaranteeing mental and physical health care and housing for our nation’s veterans — who have sacrificed so much for the safety and security of our country. On behalf of all New Mexicans, I want to thank our veterans across the state and across the country and the globe for your service to our country and to our communities.”
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and related committees, released the following statement in commemoration of Veterans Day:
“Few sacrifices are as selfless as those that our nation’s service members and their families make in defense of our country. Their unwavering devotion and extraordinary courage reflect the core principles we all share as Americans. We owe our nation’s veterans and military families much more than a debt of gratitude or mere words on days like today. We owe our veterans action in both our words and deeds. One of my most important responsibilities as New Mexico’s senator is to keep America’s promise to our service members and their families: That when they return home, they will receive the recognition and full education, housing and health care benefits that they have earned through their service.
“New Mexico has long had one of the highest rates of military volunteerism in the country. It is extremely important to me to do everything I can to assist our state’s service members and their families. That includes assisting veterans and their families with filing a claim with the VA, receiving GI Bill benefits, applying for VA loan assistance and requesting military records or replacement medals. I hope all of us will pause to recognize the brave Americans who fought for and put their lives on the line in defense of our great nation. Let’s honor their sacrifices, hold up their families, maintain our support for those who are defending our nation today and do right by all of our veterans.”