Mike Pence to Honor Flight Veterans: ‘You Have More Than Just Our Thanks’

Pence with Vets Twitter@VP

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Vice President Mike Pence greeted a crowd of around 200, mostly veterans, at the White House on Monday at an event commemorating Public Service Recognition Week and National Military Appreciation Month.

Most present were veterans of WWII, the Korean, and Vietnam Wars, and were in Washington, D.C. on honor flight trips. Pence told the crowd that he is the proud father of a U.S. Marine and of his own father who served in the Korean War.

Thanking the group for their service to the country and noting the 72nd anniversary of V-E Day, Pence said:

The sons and daughters of America, and, indeed, all who call themselves free, will remember your names for eternity, until the world stops turning. To all of you who won a victory in World War Two, you have the undying thanks and gratitude of the American people.

He continued speaking of the Honor Flight program and how he sees those gathered. “I know, in the truth of it, that you went to war as boys and you became men, and those men won freedom, and we will never, ever forget your service to this nation. God bless you all,” Pence said.

“The truth is, no matter where you served, every last one of you fought on the frontlines of freedom. And because of that, because of you, freedom endures to this very day,” he went on,  “…you are the best of us. And on behalf of your Commander-in-Chief, I’m here to say thanks and to salute your service.”

Pence spoke of President Trump’s commitment to give veterans more than just thanks, mentioning the recent executive order for the VA:

Just over a week ago, President Trump signed an executive order to ensure that the Department of Veterans Affairs is as efficient, effective, and accountable as any great healthcare provider in America. We’re going to give those who served most the best healthcare system in the world.

He then mentioned the signing of the Veterans Choice Act, “to give our heroes the choices they deserve for world-class healthcare.”

The Vice President also spoke of a $21 billion increase in defense spending included in the recently signed spending bill. He added that for the budget coming for this fall, President Trump has “actually proposed one of the largest increases in defense spending since the days of President Ronald Reagan.”

Pence spoke of his recent visit to the demilitarized zone of the Korean Peninsula and of looking out over the region where his father and fellow soldiers fought and for which his father received a bronze star. He spoke also of the men that didn’t make it home, whom his father considered heroes more than himself.

“…there’s a burden that those of you that have seen combat bear that I’ll never fully understand, but I respect,” said Vice President Pence.

He continued:

You see the sacrifices firsthand.  It’s not statistics, it’s friends. It’s not ranks, it’s relationships long gone, but voices and faces never forgotten. It’s part of the burden that you bear, as those that have served in the uniform of the United States. And it’s a burden that on behalf of President Donald Trump, I’m here to honor today and to pledge to each one of you that those that are wearing the uniform today will never have a better friend in the Oval Office than President Donald Trump.

The Vice President pledged that the Trump Administration would work to “ensure that our military personnel have the resources they need to accomplish their mission in their time,” to make sure the promises made to veterans are kept, and to never hesitate to honor those who have served in uniform.

Pence was joined by Karen Pence and VA Secretary David Shulkin.

The Vice President shared photos of the event on Twitter:

Pence also tweeted out video of the entire speech:

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