WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar issued the following statement in advance of Veterans Day:

“Veterans Day is a day to honor service and patriotism. Even more so, it’s a day to honor the people who made an incredible sacrifice for all of us.

“This Veterans Day is particularly notable because of all the anniversaries we’ve seen in 2015. It’s the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War in 1965, and the 40th anniversary of its end with the fall of Saigon in 1975. It’s the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. And it is the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.”

“All veterans have one thing in common: A deep love of our country and a patriotism that goes way beyond simply feeling pride. All veterans were willing to lay down their very lives in defense of this great nation.”

“Sadly, we know that our nation hasn’t always honored our veterans in the way they deserve. In no war was this painful truth more obvious than in Vietnam.”

“Many Vietnam veterans came home wounded – some with scars everyone can see, some with scars that can only be felt. But rather than being greeted with open arms and the help they deserved, many were greeted with indifference – or open hostility.”

“I’ll never forget the Vietnam veteran I met at a Serving Our Troops dinner back in 2012. He was volunteering, serving steaks to the families at the Xcel Energy Center, and he told me that he always volunteers at these kinds of events because when he was in the service, no one was lined up to serve him steaks when he got home. Instead, they were throwing tomatoes at him. And he said that he never wants that to happen to another veteran again.”

“Well, our veterans deserve steaks, but they deserve much more than that. When they signed up to serve and defend our country, there wasn’t a waiting line. And when they return home, there shouldn’t be a waiting line either – not for an education or a job or the health care benefits they’ve earned.”

“Our veterans – whether they fought on the beaches of Normandy … the jungles of Vietnam … the hills of Korea … the mountains of Afghanistan … or the sands of Iraq – deserve so much more than they’ve ever asked for.”

“They deserve health care to heal their bodies and minds. They deserve opportunities for good-paying jobs, and housing, and bright futures for their families.”

“But most of all, they deserve our gratitude. Whether in the form of a juicy steak or just a simple ‘thank you,’ we must ensure that the sacrifices our veterans have made are never taken for granted.”

“To all veterans and their families: Thank you. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice, not just today on Veterans Day, but every day.”