by Michael O'Brien
Today, the colors have been cased and the Iraq war is officially over. As an American and a veteran I am relieved that the war in Iraq has ended and that President Obama kept his promise to bring the troops home. When the President took office in January 2009, there were over 140,000 U.S. troops in harm’s way in Iraq. Now the Iraqi people have full responsibility for the security of their nation and American soldiers, sailors and Marines are on their way home.
Now that President Obama has brought the war to a responsible end and the last troops leave Iraq, we must never forget the men and women who served our country, those who were wounded and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in that service. We also honor the millions of military families who sacrificed at home while their loved ones served abroad often on multiple tours.
To ensure that veterans can find jobs when they come home President Obama has taken action to encourage businesses to hire unemployed and disabled veterans. The President proposed and signed into law the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 which received broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. The act new provides tax credits and locks in pledges from America’s largest businesses to hire veterans and their spouses.
A vital part of the VOW Act is the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, VRAP. VRAP provides for job training and educational assistance to unemployed veterans, helping them develop the skills needed to ease the transition to the civilian job market.
So thank you Mr. President for your leadership and for your efforts in helping veterans recover and restore their lives. Most of all, thank you for keeping your promise.