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Today across New Hampshire we reflect on the incredible service and sacrifice of those who have defended our nation. New Hampshire has a proud tradition of military service and I join all Granite Staters in extending my deepest gratitude to all who have answered the call of duty, and especially our servicemembers currently stationed overseas.  We also honor our veterans' loved ones, who have also sacrificed in their own way.

We must never forget that veterans are all around us. They are our neighbors, our friends, our family and our colleagues, but they often don't talk about their experiences in the service or in combat.  But when we do learn their stories, there is a whole new appreciation for the sacrifices that our veterans have made and their amazing dedication to our country. 

As we honor those who have served in uniform, it's not enough to say "thank you." Members of our military live by a sacred rule:  Never leave a buddy behind.  This rule applies on the battlefield, and it also applies after members of our armed forces return home.  Our veterans answered the call of duty; now it is our duty to ensure that they receive the support and services that they and their families need and deserve.

Many of our veterans need help finding a job, or starting up a small business.  Too many veterans face challenges getting access to the medical and mental health care that they need.  We have a lot of work to do, in order to do justice for all our veterans.  Today we all must rededicate ourselves to supporting the men and women of our armed forces as they transition to civilian life. They have never failed us in battle, and we must not fail them when they return home.

Jeanne Shaheen of Madbury represents New Hampshire in the United States Senate.