Washington - As Memorial Day weekend begins, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today released the following statement honoring those who have served our country.

"On Memorial Day our country takes the time to remember and honor the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our country. Throughout our nation's history, our servicemen and women have courageously fought to protect our freedoms, and Memorial Day serves as a yearly reminder of their heroism and a way for us to show our appreciation. I salute their service and sacrifice.

"While our tributes and honors are important, a grateful nation must match words with actions. We must take care of those who have served our country, and ensure that their needs are taken care of when they return from war. These issues are always critical, but they carry particular import with hundreds of thousands of our troops oversees, and tens of thousands returning with serious injuries. Yet from healthcare to housing needs, we have seen our veterans sorely neglected.

"This year, Congress has taken important steps to address these problems. This year on the Senate Budget Committee, I successfully added language to the budget that will ensure that we work to address the claims backlog that is keeping wounded soldiers in limbo and delaying the critical services they need. I also supported the Emergency Supplemental, which has more than $4.3 billion for veterans and troops returning home, including a critical $2.5 billion that will go to the Department of Defense Health Program. This infusion of money to the DoD health program will help to reform a system that has been slow to adjust to the influx of wounded coming home from war. All of these programs are vital to our returning troops, and I will continue to work in the Senate on behalf of our veterans.

"This Memorial Day, I hope that we all take the time to reflect on bravery of the men and women who have served our country, as well as how we can serve them in return."

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