For the last twenty years, our country was embroiled in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). Numerous brave Americans lost their lives to keep all of us safe at home.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to join Senator Joni Ernst in the first annual ‘Ruck the Reserve’ to celebrate the passage of our Global War on Terrorism Memorial Act. I was proud to help introduce this commonsense legislation in the House of Representatives and was thrilled to see it signed into law several months ago.
This legislation authorizes the establishment of a memorial for servicemembers of the Global War on Terrorism on the Reserve of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The memorial will honor the service and sacrifice of our GWOT veterans for future generations. Standing near the memorials for World War II, Korea, and Vietnam will further the sense of togetherness that is built from serving in the military.
The Reserve is a part of the National Mall that has been declared off-limits for future memorials and monuments. After years of advocating, this new law will allow the GWOT memorial to be built in the Reserve. I was very fortunate to be able to join this effort when I came to Congress and was proud to help get it signed into law.
For this year’s Ruck the Reserve event, I was honored to walk alongside a bipartisan group of members of Congress, staff, veterans, active-duty servicemembers, and Gold Star families to march from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol building. It was a privilege to be able to speak with so many veterans and Gold Star Families about their service and sacrifice.
As a twenty-four year Army veteran, I know the significance and power that memorials like this can have. Our veterans and their families will be able to come here to remember their fallen loved ones, reflect on this time in our history, and heal.