a partial transcript of
rep. joe sestak's (ret. adm.)
remarks --for veterans' day,
appears below the video in blue:
Good morning, I am Congressman Joe Sestak from Pennsylvania. I am a former three-star Admiral who was fortunate to have served this nation in the fury of war and the challenges of peace for 31 years in our Navy. I am also the son of a Navy Captain who fought in World War II.
Today, I would like to talk to you about all of those who have worn the ‘cloth of this nation’ and the covenant that our country has to care for our veterans who have ensured that America would always remain worthy of its ideals.
What has made our veterans’ profession so special is that it has the ‘dignity of danger’ in a common cause where there is a higher purpose to life than oneself. There is a painting that hangs in the Pentagon that depicts a serviceman with his family in church. Clearly, he is praying before a deployment and long separation. Below the painting is a quote from Isaiah in which God asks, ‘Whom shall I send; who will go for us?’ And Isaiah replies, ‘Here am I; send me.’ Every veteran has said, ‘Here am I, America, send me.’. . .
. . .Tomorrow is Veterans Day, a special opportunity not only to reflect on the sacrifices of those who have served us nobly, but to ensure that our veterans are honored by action as well as remembrance for the freedoms they and their families have earned for us all. . .
. . .Each war is different: our World War II veterans were in combat on average for six months – in the most horrific of battles – with some dwell time in between for physical and mental rest. Today, our soldiers and Marines in Iraq go ‘outside the wire’ into combat every day for 15 straight months, with many returning for several tours. That is why 17 percent of service members returning from the war have experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and over one third of returning veterans suffer from a mental health problem like depression or anxiety – and why Congress acted. . .