Our Veterans Deserve More
Watch:Take care of our veterans
Today, I stand with Americans around the country in honoring my fellow veterans, those still with us and those who made the ultimate sacrifice defending the country we love. Throughout my 16 years as a soldier, including two deployments to the Middle East, I have witnessed the very best of humanity — even during the darkest of moments — in the patriots I’ve had the privilege of serving with.
Today, they deserve more.
On this day we hear platitudes and words of thanks from politicians. But too often, this rhetoric is hollow — and the self-serving politicians who’d salute a veteran or march in a parade end up perpetuating the very same policies that have caused so much unnecessary suffering.
This hypocrisy must end.
The best way we can honor my brothers and sisters in uniform is by only sending them on missions worthy of their great sacrifice. We can honor them by caring for them when they come home. Making sure they get benefits they’ve earned. By doing all we can to prevent more of our veterans from taking their own lives by suicide. Empowering them to continue to serve when they return to civilian life. We honor them by reinvesting the trillions of dollars we’ve wasted on deadly regime change wars, the new Cold War and nuclear arms race, back in the pockets of the American people.
As president, I will show our veterans the respect they deserve with actions that truly honor all those who risk their lives for the safety, security and freedom of all Americans.
Politicians in both parties have failed to truly honor our sacrifices.
Serving in a medical unit in Iraq, I saw firsthand the high costs of interventionist policies launched in the naive and wrongheaded belief that we should police the world and impose our will on foreign societies through brute force. Our soldiers signed up to protect America, not pillage other nations.
That’s why a centerpiece of my campaign for president has been calling for the precious resources we have squandered on ill-fated, destructive military interventions to be redirected back home to improve the quality of life for our veterans and all Americans. Imagine if the trillions of dollars wasted on regime change war since 9/11 had been left in the pockets of the American people, or invested in health care, infrastructure, education and protecting our environment. The missed opportunities are incalculable.
We need a commander-in-chief with the strength and independence to resist the pressures of interventionists and those who profit off the backs of our men and women in uniform. One with a record of standing up to the military industrial complex, one who will never send our troops into harm’s way unless it is absolutely necessary and who will take care of those who return home.
I enlisted after the attacks on 9/11 out of a deep conviction that service above self is our highest calling. As president, I will honor that calling with actions deserving the sacrifice every soldier and veteran makes for our great nation.
Today we honor all of you who serve, who have sacrificed, and who continue to fight for our freedoms.