Rodríguez: President Obama’s visit to El Paso highlights new policy, updates U.S. overseas actions
EL PASO, Texas — Senator José Rodríguez today released the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s visit to Fort Bliss and his announcements regarding actions in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and of expanded mental health and suicide prevention services for military men and women:
“It’s an incredibly difficult decision to send men and women into harm’s way, and when we do we owe them our gratitude and our commitment toward their health and wellbeing when they return. Simply put, and to quote General William Tecumseh Sherman, ‘War is hell.’
“Once we put anyone through that — regardless of how we feel about the decision that sent them — we must do our part. Too many soldiers, once home, are forgotten, and suffer alone. El Paso, as other communities with a large military presence, understands this first hand.
“Fort Bliss has done an exemplary job in working with soldiers and their families to alleviate the aftershock of war. Its suicide prevention program was held up by the President as an example for other military bases to follow.
“From helping veterans find homes to making it easier for them to apply knowledge and skills learned in the military to civilian employment, there is a role for the community and state as well. These and other issues were described in detail at the Senate Veterans Affairs and Military Installations Committee hearings I attended earlier this week in Fort Hood. I am looking forward to continuing our efforts to honor the sacrifice of men and women who give so much in service to their country.
“Meanwhile, our efforts overseas continue. It was good to hear the President, with grace, eloquence and determination, explain our strategy for drawing down troops in Afghanistan, while continuing to put pressure on those networks that still wish to do us harm. We will root them out, build on our alliances, and continue to be vigilant.”