In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president said the United States will end its combat mission in Iraq Tuesday. Even though U.S. troops will remain to train Iraqis, "the bottom line is this: the war is ending," he said.
"As we mark the end of America's combat mission in Iraq, a grateful nation must pay tribute to all who have served there," the president said.
Noting that more than 1 million Americans in uniform have served during the past decade, the president said his administration has worked to make veterans policy more responsive to their needs.
"What this new generation of veterans must know is this: our nation's commitment to all who wear its uniform is a sacred trust that is as old as our republic itself," he said. "It is one that, as President, I consider a moral obligation to uphold."
Obama said his administration has updated and expanded VA hospitals and healthcare, and created "a single electronic health record that our troops and veterans can keep for life."
"We're breaking the claims backlog and reforming the process with new paperless systems," he said. "And we are building new wounded warrior facilities through the Department of Defense."
The president said his administration is "directing significant resources" to treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and "making it easier for a vet with PTSD to get the benefits he or she needs."
He invited Americans to send messages to troops and veterans, using the White House Web site, whitehouse.gov.
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