Thanking our heroes for their sacrifice

Published 10:38 am Thursday, June 2, 2016

As we observe Memorial Day, we remember with gratitude all of those brave men and women who have defended our great nation, and we pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

To all of those who are and have been members of our armed forces — thank you for all that you do in the name of American liberty.

As Americans, we must continue to support our troops who bravely defend our interests both at home and abroad. We must always remember that it is because of their service and sacrifice that we live in the most free and prosperous nation on earth. Throughout American history, our soldiers have courageously fought to preserve our freedoms, and for that, we will be forever grateful.

Their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of millions of others, has allowed us to enjoy this way of life which we often take for granted. With these sacrifices in mind, our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have served or are serving our nation and their families.

As we pass down the stories of our heroes to future generations, we must remind them of the courage, the strength and the sacrifice that our brave men and women in uniform have displayed time and time again in order to preserve our American way of life. When possible, it is essential that we listen to those who have given so much to our country and to their fellow man in order to preserve the fabric of our nation’s history.

We in the House of Representatives remain committed to holding the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) accountable and ensuring our veterans receive the level of care and service worthy of their tremendous sacrifice. Particularly given the recent remarks made by Secretary Robert McDonald, of the VA, making light of the unacceptably long wait times our veterans suffer through in order to receive the attention and care they so greatly deserve, we will continue to conduct oversight to push the VA to raise their standards and will pursue additional legislative reforms as needed.

We must continue to work to serve our veterans more efficiently, and it is our responsibility to make sure they receive the highest level of care. That is why I, along with Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minnesota), introduced the Veterans Administration Legislative and Objective Review (VALOR) Act last year. If adopted, this legislation would require that the VA undergo a biannual, independent audit by a non-governmental entity; keeping the VA accountable and ensuring our veterans are allowed the access to care they deserve in a timely manner.

I am honored to represent so many veterans and active-duty soldiers in Virginia’s Fifth District. I recorded a video message to commemorate Memorial Day, which you can view on my website —

I join the people of the Fifth District in honoring those who have fallen and in offering our thanks to those service members who have served and continue to serve this great nation so that we may continue to preserve our American way of life for future generations.

Robert Hurt, a Republican, represents Lunenburg County in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached at his Farmville office at (434) 395-0120.