Sunday, November 11, 2012

Honoring and thanking all those who have served

As we reflect upon those who have nobly served our country, many images
come to mind. We think of servicemen and women protecting freedom and
liberty across the globe. We think of brave Americans currently serving
in Afghanistan, and all those who have served in Iraq, Korea, Vietnam,
and the theatres of World War II. What we often forget, however, is
that Veteran's Day also celebrates the contributions of those serving
off the battlefront.

This Veteran's Day, we also celebrate the selfless contributions of
veterans like Navy Nurse Elma Bustle of Chesapeake. Prior to the
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, there were less than 7,000 nurses in
the Army and Navy Nurse Corps. World War II ushered in a new period for
women's involvement in the war effort. By the end of World War II,
nearly 77,000 American women had served as U.S. military nurses, many of
whom received commendations and decorations. Ms. Bustle is one of those
brave women who served honorably as a Navy nurse during World War II.

Stationed at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital during her active duty, Ms.
Bustle provided wounded soldiers with invaluable life-saving care. More
than physical healers, military nurses like Ms. Bustle also provided
emotional healing, showing care and compassion for battle-worn
soldiers. Ms. Bustle's daughter, Aurey Kirk, recently described her now
90 year-old mother as a strong woman with a love for the Navy and a
lifelong passion for caring for others. The work of nurses like Ms.
Bustle bolstered America's military strength, lowering post-injury
mortality rates for our forces serving abroad during World War II.

Think of the American armed forces as a chain. Each link in the chain
must do its job and provide strength for each link around it. Ms. Bustle
and other veterans like her represent a link that the chain could not
have succeeded without. Today, we celebrate the entire chain --the mess
hall cooks, accountants, logistics specialists, cryptologists,
translators, and mechanics—without whose service, no campaign could
succeed. Today, we celebrate the heroic contributions of all veterans –
not only those who carried ammunition and arms, but those who supported
those missions.

Yours in Service,

Congressman J.Randy Forbes