Letter from the President

Dear Matthew:

Thank you for writing. Each day, I hear from Americans who join me in expressing support for our troops, and I appreciate your perspective.

One of the most humbling parts of my job as President is serving as Commander in Chief of the finest military the world has ever known. Our troops and their families represent the best America has to offer—unwavering strength and commitment to duty, deep devotion, and unshakeable resolve. Their service reminds us that the true strength of our military lies not in the power of our weapons or the sophistication of our systems, but in the unparalleled spirit and skill of our men and women in uniform.

As a grateful Nation, we have a solemn obligation to always provide our troops with the clearest mission, the best intelligence, and the most advanced tools to get the job done. That means giving them the resources and training they need, and recognizing that military force cannot be the first or only answer to the threats we face. It means building a 21st-century military that stands ready not just for the missions of today, but the tasks of tomorrow. And it means harnessing the talents and skills of all our citizens—because male or female, gay or straight, all Americans deserve the chance to serve the country they love.

Supporting our troops on the battlefield is only the beginning of a lifelong commitment to our Nation’s heroes and their families. We need to make sure our men and women in uniform have a job when they come home, which is why my Administration has partnered with the private sector to get hundreds of thousands of veterans hired or trained by 2014. We are giving tax credits to businesses that hire unemployed veterans and wounded warriors, and we are helping returning service members get the credentials they need to join the civilian labor force. We were also proud to launch the Veteran Gold Card program, which provides enhanced services to post-9/11 veterans, alongside other online tools to connect veterans with good-paying jobs.

We will continue doing whatever it takes to serve our troops, our veterans, and their families as well as they serve us. As more service members return home, we will keep making veterans’ health care a top priority—strengthening mental health services, fighting the disability claims backlog, and helping struggling veterans get back on their feet. We will keep supporting the families and caregivers who tend to our wounded warriors, and carry on the search for every service member who remains unaccounted for. And for military families who still serve, we will redouble our efforts to provide high-quality child care services, wellness programs, and educational opportunities.

The bond between our Armed Forces and our citizens is a sacred trust, and upholding that trust is a moral obligation. To learn more about our work to give members of the military community the opportunities they have earned, visit www.JoiningForces.gov.

Thank you, again, for writing.


Barack Obama


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