This Memorial Day, Americans should realize that supporting veterans with jobs and education isn't just about repaying our debt to them. The care of veterans and their families is also a national security imperative if the US is to maintain an effective all-volunteer force.
This Memorial Day the discussion will undoubtedly be framed around the debt owed to those who have served, and the moral obligation of a grateful nation to repay that debt. It’s a debt both real and owed.
However, to suggest that efforts to support our veterans with meaningful jobs and education are based solely on repaying a debt is both limiting and dangerous. Instead, it’s critical for policymakers, politicians, and most important, the American public to understand that the support and care of wounded warriors, veterans, and military families is also a national security imperative if the United States is to maintain an effective all-volunteer force.
The architects of the volunteer force had great concerns about its sustainability – chief among them was attracting and retaining exceptional volunteers. A central element of the blueprint was to position military service as a road to educational and career opportunities – in the military and afterward – that might otherwise be out of reach for many Americans.
Page 1 of 4