American veterans represent the best of our country. They deserve our gratitude and respect for sacrificing so much to protect our freedom and safety.
Veterans Day is an opportunity for Americans to pay tribute to the millions of men and women who have served the United States in the armed forces. These individuals put their lives on the line, sacrifice time with their families, and devote themselves completely to the service of their country. I’m proud of the many Long Beach veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in the Vietnam, Korean and World War Two eras. We wouldn’t be here without their service, and we should celebrate that today.
Some veterans return home and struggle to recover from trauma, to find a decent job, and even to maintain housing. I look forward to the day when there is no such thing as a homeless veteran. To achieve that goal, returning vets need our support, and we need to step up for them the way they have stepped for our country.
One way we’re doing that in Long Beach is by committing to house every homeless veteran. Since January of 2015 we have essentially eliminated chronic veteran homelessness in our city, providing housing to 657 veterans in just the past 22 months. That’s great news, and we couldn’t have done it without the hard work of some outstanding community partners, including the Veterans Administration; US Vets and the Villages at Cabrillo; Apartment Association, California Southern Cities; our Homeless Services Division; and everyone in Long Beach who volunteers time and makes donations to support services for our homeless residents. Thank you all very much!
We also recently appointed 9 Veteran Affairs Commissioners, who will soon hold the first ever meeting of the City of Long Beach Veteran Affairs Commission. My thanks to Vice Mayor Rex Richardson for initiating that commission.
I am committed to continuing to do everything we can to support our vets, and I know all of you feel the same.
To all veterans: Thank you for your service. Thank you for your bravery. Thank you for loving our country.
Happy Veterans Day to all!
Go Long Beach!
Mayor Robert Garcia