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VIDEO: Rubio Honors Veterans at South Florida Luncheon

Nov 10, 2016 | Press Releases

Opa-locka, FL – On the eve of Veterans Day, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today honored our nation’s veterans at a luncheon hosted at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Miami.
His remarks can be watched here. Photos of the event are available here. A full transcript of Rubio’s remarks is below.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
Remarks at U.S. Coast Guard Veterans Day Luncheon
U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Miami
Opa-locka, FL
November 10, 2016
It is our honor to be here today. My son, Anthony, is accompanying me today and it’s important that he come, for just 48 hours ago this nation is experiencing the peaceful transition of power which so few places around the world have an opportunity to do.
And that’s not just possible because of the people who give speeches. It’s largely possible because for over two centuries, brave men and women have been willing to sacrifice on behalf of this great nation, and of the ideals that formed us as a people and as a nation.
We’re reminded that in each generation our finest young men and women have been called to sacrifice and sometimes to die in the service of their country. But more than just in the service of a nation, but in the service of an idea that every single one of us was born with rights given to us by our Creator, which government exists to protect, not to decide or to grant.
On Memorial Day each year, we commemorate those who lost their lives in service to our county. On Veterans Day each year, we commemorate all who served, whether they died or not, for they all brought back from their service great pain in many cases. Those who became prisoners, those who were injured, those who carry with them for years the trauma of the evils and the perils of warfare.
Every day, every week people always thank our veterans in words and they should, for increasingly, a smaller and smaller percentage of our population bears the extraordinary burden of protecting our country. And so words alone are not enough to thank our veterans. It has to be followed up by action. We make a promise to those men and women who put on the uniform of this country that we will provide them with the best equipment, the best training, and the best intelligence so that when they step forward to protect us, they will never be in a fair fight. That we will always be better trained, better equipped, and better informed than any adversary they will face. 
And so if we want to honor our men and women in uniform, we should begin by continuing to live up to that commitment. Make another commitment, and that is once their service to this nation is finished and they come home to rejoin us and their families, that we will take care of them as well. And that is a promise that far too often has been broken over the last ten years. And it is my hope that we will rectify that for the number of people that are coming back now and are suffering from homelessness and all sorts of other challenges is extraordinary. The number of men and women currently active, who contact our office facing foreclosures and other strains even as they are out there protecting our country, is far too high. And so we are here to thank you. But words will not be enough. Actions are necessary. The best way we can honor the service of those who are serving us and have served us is with action. With taking care of those who have taken care of us. And it is my hope that in the years to come that is exactly what the political class in this country will do.
And last, but not least, I always try to bring my kids to veterans events because I want them to understand that the freedoms and opportunities that we have in this nation are not by accident. They are the result of decisions that were made by people that were here before us, by generation after generation of Americans who was willing to confront extraordinary challenges. In no era have young people come forward and decided that they wanted out of life to simply go out and fight in wars and risk their lives. They did it because they had to. They did it because that’s what was necessary of them. We are blessed that in this time, while we face great challenges, they are less than the challenges faced by the generations that came before us. We do not know what the future holds. But if history is any lesson, it is that because we are a great country, we will always face great challenges. It is easy to be ordinary; it is hard to be special. We are special and in order to remain special, we must do special things and confront great challenges but also embrace great opportunities. And, as always, our men and women in uniform, now, past and future, will always be an extraordinary part of that.
So we honor your service, we thank you for what you’ve done. And we hope to thank you not just in word but in action in the months, weeks, and years to come. Thank you. God bless all of you and God bless our extraordinary country.