U.S. Senators Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, introduced a bill today that would designate October 7, 2012 as “Operation Enduring Freedom Veterans Day.” This day will honor the brave men and women who served and sacrificed for the United States in Operation Enduring Freedom.
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Andrew Koenig, a native of Casper, Wyo., initiated the process by contacting Senator Enzi. While serving in Afghanistan he was shot by a sniper, narrowly missing his forehead and hitting his helmet. He wanted this day to honor those still serving in Afghanistan.
“We can’t forget that our men and women in uniform are still fighting for our freedom,” said Senator Enzi. “This day recognizes the sacrifices of our Afghanistan veterans and their loved ones. It is a thank you from America for all of their service.”
“This resolution affirms our deep gratitude to the thousands of American service members who have served in Afghanistan. They have carried out their missions with courage, perseverance, and skill,” said Senator Ayotte, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We must never forget their sacrifices – nor the sacrifices of their loved ones – in answering the call of duty. I join Americans in thanking our military men and women for their brave service and dedication to advancing the cause of freedom.”
“A grateful nation thanks the heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom for their bravery, service, and sacrifice and that of their families,” said Senator Blumenthal. “This resolution honors the brave men and women who served in Operation Enduring Freedom for stepping forward when their country needed them and achieving the mighty task that is the namesake of their mission.”
“October 7, 2001 marked the beginning of the end for insurgent forces in Afghanistan intent on terrorist activities both there and abroad,” said Senator Begich. “This resolution honors those dedicated men and women who have fought and sacrificed so that others may realize a life of freedom and democracy.”
October 7 marks the eleventh anniversary of the war, launched in response to the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 against the United States. More than half a million American military members have served in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. Nearly 1,800 have made the ultimate sacrifice for American freedom.