Obama Salutes American Veterans

Posted August 30th, 2011 at 4:00 pm (UTC-5)
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President Barack Obama has saluted the nation's veterans, saying they have borne an “extraordinary burden” with two wars, multiple deployments and thousands of military deaths since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

President Obama spoke Tuesday in Minneapolis at the national convention of the American Legion, a veterans' group.

The president said troops quickly toppled the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and forced al-Qaida from the training camps in Afghanistan where it planned the 2001 attacks. He said the commando raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan earlier this year was one of the “greatest intelligence and military operations in American history.”

Mr. Obama said more than five million Americans have served in the military since the attacks of September 11, 2001. He said more than 6,200 service members have died in this “hard decade of war.”

He said it is time to focus on nation building at home, and he called on states to pass legislation to make it easier for veterans to be able to get the training needed to transition to civilian life and secure jobs.