November 08, 2013
Dr. Jonathan Woodson, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, issued the following statement in commemoration of Veterans Day.
As we head into the Veterans Day weekend, I know that we all work every single day of the year in an organization that honors and serves those in uniform and those who have previously served our nation. This coming Monday, the nation will take time to also acknowledge the service and sacrifices of our veterans.
There are over 22 million veterans in our country, and regardless of when, where or for how long they served, we are grateful that these men and women raised their right hand to protect and defend the Constitution. There will be plenty of speeches and ceremonies this weekend to express thanks. I just want to add my own small thank you to every veteran — to include those still serving — within the Military Health System.
And I also want to ask all of you in the organization to continue to strive for how we can even better honor and assist veterans in the coming year. In 2014, the size of our veteran population will increase as combat operations in Afghanistan draw to an end and the overall size of our active military force begins to get smaller.
In the coming weeks and months, we need to reflect on what these changes in our force structure and size will demand from us. We need to continue to break new ground in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs and in partnership with our civilian colleagues in ways that facilitate care transitions and in ways that best use our collective capabilities to both train our workforce and treat our shared population in a more integrated way.
Caring and serving our veterans is a profound responsibility and moral obligation. I remain grateful for the professional excellence and personal compassion that you bring to this mission every day.
Happy Veterans Day.