This past Tuesday, I was honored to be elected to represent you in Congress for two more years. Serving you and your families is the professional honor of my lifetime, and I pledge to do everything I can to make life here in Missouri the best it can be. We’re so fortunate to live in a country where our citizens have a voice in our elections and we get to live in freedom. That freedom and the world’s strong democracy is only made possible by the brave men and women who have served in our military dating back to the American Revolution. Today is Veterans Day, and a national reminder to honor the Americans who signed up to put country before themselves to keep our nation safe.

There are more than 400,000 veterans living in Missouri. These are heroes who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Iraq and Afghanistan in the War on Terror, and in posts across the globe to keep us out of harm’s way. They have put their lives on the line in order to preserve the freedoms unique to the United States of America. While Veterans Day is of course a good reminder to show them our gratitude, thanking a veteran or active servicemember for their service is appropriate all year long. There is never a bad time to let them know that their sacrifice has not gone unnoticed, and we appreciate their service more than we’ll ever be able to express. That said, a simple “thank you” can go a long way.

One of the most important parts of my job in Congress is ensuring our veterans receive the treatment and benefits they have earned. They sacrificed so much for our country, and it’s our job to make sure they have access to resources and support here at home. Serving in the military is one of the most honorable jobs one can have, and it is also one of the most difficult. These Americans face danger most of us here at home could never imagine, and the scars they return with aren’t always surface level. But veterans here in Missouri and across the country are never alone and support can be found in many different forms. The VA offers many resources from health care, to mental health support, to helping veterans enter the workforce following their service. Of course, no government agency is perfect, so my office is here to act as a liaison between Third District veterans and the VA should you or a veteran you know run into an issue. Please don’t hesitate to give my office a call – we’re here to be an advocate.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety Veterans Commission is another great place to go for assistance with things like benefits, connecting with your local military community and enrolling in VA health care. These and more helpful resources can be found on their website, mvc.dps.mo.gov. Getting involved with the local American Legion is another way for interested veterans to get involved, meet other local veterans, and network with Missourians who may have had a similar experience. More information can be found on their website, missourilegion.org.

We owe everything to our nation’s veterans. Please join me in thanking a Missourian who’s served our country. It’s because of them that life in this great country of ours can continue in freedom.