As he remembered Veterans Day this week, Gov. Phil Bredesen noted the state and nation's commitment to help servicemen and women after their tours of duty end and they muster out of service.
Speaking in Nashville on Wednesday, the governor welcomed soldiers, veterans, and representatives of Tennessee's veterans groups who attended the morning event, "including representatives of the Council on Service Members, Veterans and Their Families, which I formed in August by executive order."
Bredesen "recognized that meeting the needs of service members, veterans and their families is not the sole responsibility of any one agency, but a collective responsibility of the entire state --a responsibility that requires a high level of cooperation and collaboration."
The council helps meet unique challenges that face service members, veterans and their families. Those challenges can include mental illness, substance abuse, traumatic brain or serious physical injury, as well as challenges in the areas of employment, criminal justice and housing."
Last week, Bedesen issued a call to employers to hire veterans. It's an annual reminder that businesses are needed to repatriate veterans.
As he honored America's veterans and paid a special tribute to veterans in Tennessee, Bredesen said, "It is also appropriate to honor their families and thank them for the sacrifices they make when the time comes for their loved ones to serve.
"As our country continues its fight to spread freedom and democracy around the globe, our foremost thoughts and prayers today are with the men and women currently serving overseas.
"This is also a time to remember those we have lost in the line of duty," he said. "We salute those brave men and women who gave their lives to defend our freedom. We honor them, and we remember them."
Bredesen encourages Tennesseans to stop and "give thanks for the freedom, hope and opportunity that come with life and liberty in our great country. None of these things would be possible without the service and sacrifice of our veterans."