The President and First Lady were in Hinesville, Georgia today talking to our troops and military families about a new executive order that will help protect them from deceptive targeting. Fort Stewart is home to the US Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, one of the nation’s premiere military units.
Our troops from Fort Stewart have deployed numerous times to Iraq and Afghanistan. The President and First Lady spoke of their commitment to helping veterans, with the President vowing, “Three years ago, I made your generation a promise: I said that when your tour comes to an end — when you see our flag, when you touch down on our soil — you’ll be coming home to an America that will forever fight for you, just as you fought for us.”
The President signed an Executive Order on Fort Stewart to help ensure all of America’s service members, veterans, spouses, and other family members have the information they need to make informed educational decisions and are protected from aggressive and deceptive targeting by educational institutions.
The First Lady spoke to a thrilled audience. Michelle gave props to the troops and their families, “One of my greatest privileges as First Lady has been meeting folks like you on bases and communities all across this country. I’m in awe of how many of you signed up to defend our country in a time of war, serving heroically through deployment after deployment. I’m in awe of your families — the spouses who run their households all alone, the kids who step up at home and succeed at school and stay strong through all the challenges they face. With their service, they make your service possible.”
The First Lady spoke about Joining Forces, “In our first year alone, more than 1,600 businesses hired more than 60,000 veterans, and they pledged to hire at least 170,000 more in the coming years.”
Michelle concluded with a warm introduction to their Commander in Chief, “And the man who has been leading the way is standing right next to me. And ladies, I think he’s kind of cute. (Laughter and applause.) He was fighting for all of you long before he ever became President.” She continued, “He’s made veteran’s employment a national priority, with tax breaks for businesses that hire veterans and wounded warriors. He’s working to end the outrage of veteran’s homelessness once and for all. He championed the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which has helped more than half a million veterans and military families go to college. And today, with this new effort to ensure that you all get the education you’ve earned, that story continues.”
The President spoke to the troops of his great respect and appreciation for their service, and his commitment to ensuring that we have their back, “I’ve made sure to champion the Post-9/11 GI Bill. And with that bill — and the Tuition Assistance program — last year we supported more than 550,000 veterans and 325,000 servicemembers who are pursuing a higher education. Because a higher education is the clearest path to the middle class.”
Obama has been made aware of how too many of our servicemembers are being scammed by educational institutions that prey on them. He said, “The executive order I’m about to sign will make life a whole lot more secure for you and your families and our veterans — and a whole lot tougher for those who try to prey on you.” He called it the “Know Before You Owe” fact sheet that will provide military members, veterans and families with clear information about their qualifications and financial aid.
The President concluded with a rousing, “This country exists because generations of Americans worked together and looked out for one other. Out of many, we are one. Those are the values we’ve got to return to.”
A nation that does not care for its veterans when they return home from service is a country without pride and honor. For too long, our veterans have come home only to be forgotten by the very elected officials who sent them to war. You don’t have to be pro-war to be pro-veteran, pro-military families, and pro-honor. We make promises to these folks when they sign up. The least we can do is honor them.
The President and First Lady went through Fort Stewart’s Warriors Walk today, where trees have been planted to honor fallen warriors, and beneath the trees are memorabilia, sometimes a flag and a toy truck, sometimes pictures, sometimes flowers. We must never forget the sacrifices made for our country.
It’s about time we had our veterans’ backs, just like they’ve had ours. Rock of the Marne.