The North Bend Eagle


Service and sacrifice still abound

Senator Deb Fischer
Released 5/9/13

Our Nation has long been blessed with men and women of great courage. From ragtag militias at Lexington and Concord, to today’s patrolmen stationed in the hills of Kandahar and the lonely mountains of Paktia, Americans have fought bravely, risking life-and-limb for our freedom.

Shortly after being sworn into the Senate, I traveled to the Middle East, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to receive briefings and updates from our top military commanders on the progress in Afghanistan. While it was important to meet with our commanders and diplomats in the region, the personal highlight of the trip was visiting with Nebraskans deployed at a number of regional bases in the area.

Too often, it seems, the fact that we are a nation at war is forgotten.

Too often, it seems, the fact that we are a nation at war is forgotten. Amidst headlines of politics and Hollywood gossip, few reminders exist that more than 60,000 Americans are deployed in Afghanistan, far away from family and loved ones and fearlessly risking their lives every day on behalf of our Nation.

And while these brave men and women continue hard-fought wars abroad, many other Americans serve our country tirelessly and selflessly at home. During the Senate’s most recent state work period, I visited with many of Nebraska’s men and women in uniform at the state’s National Guard Association, the 55th Wing of the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM).

In Lincoln, I was honored to address members of the National Guard Association of Nebraska at its Annual Spring Awards Banquet. I was immensely impressed by and proud of the honored members receiving awards for their achievements. I was also thankful for the opportunity to extend my congratulations and express my deep appreciation for their unrelenting efforts day-in and day-out to keep us safe.

At the ceremony, I spoke about America’s role in an increasingly dangerous world and the importance of maintaining our global defense posture against the growing array of threats we see emerging worldwide. To that end, I stressed my commitment to ensuring the federal government continues to do everything in its power to enable our service men and women to do what they do best.

In La Vista, I attended an event commemorating the 35th birthday of the 55th Wing; the event connects the 55th Wing’s history and heritage to active duty personnel and missions. It is a special event that represents an important part of the celebrated tradition of military service we have in Nebraska, and I was so pleased to be a part of it.

Men and women of America’s military risk and dedicate their lives to serving our country, and it is important for us to honor their legacy – particularly as members of the Greatest Generation begin to dwindle.

I would also like to let you know about a great program offered by the Library of Congress. This program allows veterans and their families to document the unique stories of those who have served as a permanent part of history. The mission of the Veterans History Project is to collect and share the personal accounts of war veterans and preserve them for future generations. The project provides our children and grandchildren the opportunity to learn from a firsthand source these veterans’ experiences.

Those who wish to participate in this program can submit a recorded interview with a veteran or original historical documents, including photographs, letters, artwork, journals, or unpublished memoirs, to the Library of Congress to archive these accounts and pieces of history as they actually happened. To learn more, please visit

I encourage Nebraska’s veterans and all those across the country who have served to take advantage of this opportunity. Learning about the experiences of America’s veterans is one way we can not only honor their important legacy, but also grow as a Nation.

Thank you for participating in the democratic process, and I’ll visit with you again next week.

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