Latta: Land of the free, home of the braveWritten by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
In a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams wrote: “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”
While Adams may have been off by two days, the Fourth of July is a day for all Americans to remember. Our Founding Fathers laid the framework for what has become the greatest nation on Earth, and it is because of the selfless sacrifices of our troops that these values have held strong. Benjamin Franklin, in response to a Philadelphia woman’s question as to what form of government the Constitutional Convention had given them, aptly replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Continuous threats have challenged our Republic, but our military has never wavered and has remained steadfast in its resolve. As we face new and evolving challenges, it is imperative we continue to support our troops both in the field and upon their return home.
We need to look no further than Toledo’s own 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard to see the patriots who make up our military. These brave men and women are our first line of defense in protecting the security of our nation in the air, and we are honored and proud to call them members of our community. Our service members live by a creed that stresses commitment and dedication not only to one another, but also to our country. On a daily basis, they volunteer themselves, making selfless sacrifices in the name of freedom — a further testament to their character and heroism.
Despite difficult budgetary times, it remains critical that we provide our military men and women with the necessary resources to complete current missions and defend against future threats. We must also ensure that both they and their families have the resources to navigate the physical and mental stresses that can result from combat. The U.S. Congress has passed annual legislation to provide for a strong national defense and support our troops and their families. However, as increasingly evidenced by reports regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) mishandling of our veterans’ care, our country has not fulfilled all of its promises to our troops and veterans.
The care of our veterans is neither partisan nor political. Members from both sides of the aisle, including myself, have been outraged by the terrible failings at the VA, and we will not stand for the continued runaround we have received from the administration. Secret lists, unacceptable wait times and lengthy appeals processes have come to define our veterans’ health care system, and it is time for us to defend our nation’s heroes. Therefore, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have passed multiple pieces of legislation to eliminate the current culture of mistruths and complacency, as well as prevent these injustices from occurring in the future.
One of the most disconcerting aspects of the VA crisis is that these issues could have been prevented. We have made a promise to our nation’s heroes and have a duty to uphold our commitment. As more veterans return from overseas missions and veterans from previous wars require greater care, we must ensure they are treated with the same dignity and honor with which they served our country.
Our service members put their lives on the line daily, so that we may continue to call this country the land of the free and the home of the brave. As we celebrate our freedoms and honor those who are currently serving, those who have served and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, let us also uphold our promise to our veterans by ensuring they have the care they need. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all who are wearing or have worn our nation’s uniform — one words alone cannot express. It is because of their sacrifice, and the sacrifices of their families, that we can be so proud to call this country our home. God bless our nation’s heroes and their families, and God bless the United States of America!
Rep. Bob Latta (R) is the U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 5th Congressional District. For more information, visit latta.house.gov.
Tags: 180th FIghter Wing, Abigail Adams, American history, Benjamin Franklin, Bob Latta, Constitutional Convention, Department of Veterans Affairs, Founding Fathers, Fourth of July, God, Health Care, John Adams, Ohio Air National Guard, patriots, Representative Bob Latta, republic, U.S. Congress, VA