Each year, we mark Veterans Day on the 11th day of the 11th month to honor the 1918 signing of the armistice ending World War I.
 
Sixty-five years ago, President Dwight Eisenhower officially changed the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day, writing: “On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”
 
This Monday, we’ll have that chance to honor the sacrifice, dedication and commitment of every woman and man who has put on the uniform in defense of our country and our freedom.
 
I want to say a few words about what our veterans mean to America’s hospitals and health systems.
 
The 18 million veterans living in America today have made great sacrifices on our behalf. They have left their loved ones behind, many have served in war zones for months or years and — tragically — many have suffered serious injuries and lasting wounds, both physical and mental. Their sacrifices are a reminder that freedom isn’t free … and we all owe a great debt to all who have served.
 
That’s why America’s hospitals and health systems have long supported both our troops and our veterans.
 
That’s why we’re strongly committed to partnering with the VA to provide care to veterans in their communities and honoring their service to our country.
 
That’s why we advocated for legislation to improve the care our veterans receive, including last year’s bipartisan VA MISSION Act, which will help ensure our nation’s veterans have access to the high-quality care that they have earned and deserve … when and where they need it.
 
This law streamlines veterans' access to health care by consolidating multiple VA community care programs into one permanent “Veterans Community Care Program.” This will help veterans access care outside of the VA’s medical network and decrease confusion about eligibility criteria and covered services. Implementation of the new Veterans Community Care Program is underway.
 
That’s why each year we recognize outstanding health care executives in the federal health care system with the AHA Federal Awards.
 
That’s why we put together resources to help AHA members hire returning veterans who by the way are some of the hardest working and most dedicated employees out there.
 
And, that’s why the AHA celebrates the numerous veterans on our team.
 
America’s veterans have done their duty, and now it’s our turn to honor their sacrifices. From all of us here at the AHA, thank you to every veteran who has defended our country … and our freedom.
 
 

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