Since the time of the American Revolution through the present day, this great nation has been blessed to have no shortage of courageous citizens like yourselves willing to take up arms to defend it, and if necessary, forfeit your very lives in order to do so.
You were willing to go wherever your country sent you in order to defend America, its people, or to prevent others in the world from realizing the sad fate of living under hideous tyrannies.
You have willingly fought in deserts, jungles, in the skies and on (as well as beneath) the high seas of the world in order to defend freedom and liberty.
It was never really easy, rarely pleasant, and not a little dangerous, but you went anyway because your country asked it of you.
Some of you never returned to your home country alive, having given your lives not knowing the final outcome of the conflict you were willing to fight in. Still more of you came back with physically less than you left with. Sadly, some of you returned home safely only to be spat upon and accused of all kinds of hideous atrocities by some of our very own citizens. Some of you returned scarred in ways not otherwise visible.
Every last one of you returned home a true American hero.
The citizens of this nation, and no small number of free people throughout the world, owe you all a debt of gratitude we will never come close to repaying. I thank God for each and every one of you.
Thank you for your selfless service to the United Sates of America, and to all of us.