Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA-03) penned an op-ed for The Hill that ran last week discussing how we celebrate Military Appreciation Month each May. Take some time this Memorial Day weekend and read it over.
The Hill: Appreciating our military men and women
By Lynn Westmoreland
May 22, 2016
For a decade and a half, our men and women in uniform voluntarily put themselves in harm’s way to defend our country against terrorists whose mission is to destroy everything the United States represents. Since 2001, more than 2 million American children have had a parent deployed at least once. A number like that makes you stop and think. I think about all that our past and present service men and women and their families have sacrificed for our daily freedom and security. I think about the missed holidays, graduations, and big moments. I also know we will never be able to fully repay their efforts, but it’s our responsibility to try.
Each May our nation celebrates Military Appreciation Month. It’s a special time for us to honor our brave men and women in uniform and the sacrifices they make defending our freedoms at home and abroad. This month grants us with an opportunity to repay, in gratitude and appreciation, the efforts of our service members and their families. During National Military Appreciation Month we observe many holidays, including: Loyalty Day, a day is set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States; Military Spouse Appreciation Day, a time to thank military spouses for being the backbone of the families who support our troops; Victory in Europe Day ,commemorating the end of the World War II; Armed Forces Day, a time set aside to pay tribute to our military personnel who currently serve in our nation’s Armed Forces; and Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to our nation. For all that we do to honor them; they have done, and continue to do, much more in service to our country.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to meet many of our military men and women during my time in Congress. Last year, I traveled to Italy as part of my fact-finding trip with the Select Committee on Benghazi. While I was at the Naval Air Station in Sigonella, I had the chance to talk with Lance Corporal Cameron Robertson, a Marine from Georgia. Seeing young men like Lance Corporal Robertson serving our nation abroad makes me proud. Georgia is home to many military bases that train our country’s armed forces, and I have seen the results of that first class training both at home and across the world in Afghanistan, Iraq, Italy, Germany and Egypt. The dedication displayed by these individuals is unparalleled. We are blessed to have people like Lance Corporal Robertson fighting to keep our homeland safe.
I have been honored to represent the over 60,000 veterans living in my district over the last ten years. Like other Americans, I am committed to celebrating members of the military during Military Appreciation Month. But this month isn’t just about showing our gratitude to those who serve and protect — it’s about challenging ourselves to do even more for our military members and families. So this, and every month, I hope you will join me in accepting that challenge, and standing behind our service members and their families to honor their sacrifices to our great nation.
Representative Lynn Westmoreland of Grantville, Georgia has represented Georgia’s Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for twelve years. He serves on the House Select Committee on Benghazi and the House Financial Services Committee. In addition, Rep. Westmoreland is on the House Permeant Select Committee on Intelligence and is Chairman of the Subcommittee on the NSA and Cybersecurity.