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President Obama

Source: Pool / White House

On Wednesday President Barack Obama urged the public to keep veterans in their thoughts long after the annual holiday honoring them.  At an observance at Arlington National Cemetery, Obama said the Department of Veterans Affairs is getting a bigger budget and making progress on entrenched problems such as veteran homelessness as well as a backlog of disability claims.

Obama said “Still the unacceptable problems that we’ve seen, like long wait times and some veterans not getting the timely care that they need, is a challenge for all of us if we are to match our words with deeds.” He also made it clear that his message to every veteran is “that I am still not satisfied.”

According to Obama the Veterans Day federal holiday is about more than showing gratitude to veterans. Obama added that “It is also a reminder of all that they still have to give our nation, and our duty to them.”

He said the country is in the midst of a new wave of veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere and asked communities as well as businesses to consider hiring veterans. President Obama claims some 200,000 veterans are returning to civilian life every year.

The president also laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns and bowed his head in a moment of silence.  Separately Wednesday, first lady Michelle Obama joined Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, to headline a luncheon for military women, active-duty service members and veterans, spouses and caregivers at the Bidens’ official residence at the Naval Observatory.


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