Missouri leaders salute military on Veterans Day

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Missouri News Horizon

Missouri leaders saluted the state’s military veterans on this Veterans Day, as thousands of other Missourians remain deployed in conflicts abroad.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 514,000 veterans reside in Missouri.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Travis Sanford, Jefferson City, is one of those. He was honored by the U.S. Airfoice this year as one of 20 airmen to receive a “Portraits in Courage” recognition commending his service in Afghanistan.

In a statement recognizing the day, Gov. Jay Nixon highlighted Sanford’s service.

“Over the past 200 years, Missourians have readily answered the call of duty in our nation’s armed forces, and many have distinguished themselves in doing so,” he wrote in a letter. “By your actions during combat in Afghanistan, you have deservedly joined that roll of honor.”

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, the daughter of a World War II veteran who received a purple heart, thanked veterans for their service, and pledged to focus on their issues — from jobs for returning veterans to health care — in the Senate.

“Nobody who stands up to protect our country should ever have to go it alone when they come back home, and I pledge to keep fighting every day to make sure the promises made to our veterans are kept, that they get the benefits they’ve earned, and that they’re treated with the same dignity and respect that my Dad was shown when he came home,” she said in a statement.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who has made veterans issues a major focus of his office, said Missourians should take an opportunity on Veterans Day to show their appreciation for their service.

“It took courage for our veterans to risk life and limb for their country,” Kinder said. “The least we civilians can do is to honor these American heroes. That is why we celebrate Veterans Day. There are all kinds of simple acts we can perform to venerate these great men and women.”