Good morning. On behalf of Mount Pocono, I’d like to thank the Commander and Officers of VFW Post #3448 Mount Pocono for inviting me to make a few short comments in remembrance and celebration of our Defenders of Freedom, this day. It’s an honor to be here. Last year, I spoke about Veterans Day, its history as Armistice Day, and our veterans and war heroes securing our independence and freedoms. Our veterans are our greatest patriots! They are willing to lay down their lives for us and for our freedoms. When they wear their uniforms, they carry our country – the whole of the United States of America – on their backs. They look out for all of us, and all of us must look out for them – during service and after retiring from active duty. It’s our responsibility to be their “patriots” and advocates when they return from service and from theaters of foreign warfare. We put our soldiers through intensive and life-altering training. We send you off to war. You commit yourselves to the defense of our great nation, and it is incumbent upon us to commit ourselves to you when your active duty has ended. During service, you, our soldiers, are exposed to injuries as aircraft mechanics, bodily harm during training exercises, PTSD during warfare, inexplicable disabilities due to chemical exposure. Our soldiers live in physically difficult conditions, surviving on MRE’s that wreak havoc with their intestinal tracts years later. Our Defenders of Freedom retire from the forces different people than they entered. They should not or cannot be abandoned, in spirit or in health. They have looked out for us; it is our job to look after their sacrifices, for life. YOU DO NOT QUALIFY is not an option. When you apply to the VA for medical services and receive a response, without any reason, that you do not qualify, that is unacceptable. When you are called to service, the only questions you ask are, “how long,” and “where?” You were qualified to do your job. You were qualified to get killed. You were qualified to leave your family behind and lose relationships due to separation, but when you come home and illnesses due to your service begin, you cannot be told you are not qualified for service to maintain your health. These last words about not qualifying are the words of a dear soldier friend of mine, who spent a lifetime committed to the service of our country in a love affair with the United States and with our military. “When YOU go Home, tell them of us and say, For your Tomorrow, we gave our Today.” Veterans Day cannot be only one day. Our nation owes you a debt of gratitude! Keep looking out for each other! Thank you for your Service!