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Graphic for the Veterans Crisis Line. It reads Veterans Cris Lins 1 800 273 8255 press 1

Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

Remarks by Former Secretary Eric K. Shinseki

Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride
Washington, DC
April 17, 2014

Good morning, Mr. President, Mr. Vice-President, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the 2014 Soldier Ride!

To all of our wounded warriors, but especially these who are making this year's ride, thank you for your service, and thank you also for showing us what triumph over adversity looks like. You will be sharing your inspiring examples with the communities you'll be visiting in the coming days. We wish you much success in your continued recoveries.

No one among us is more committed to your success and well-being than our President. In the past five years, thanks to his unwavering leadership, commitment, and support:

  • More than 2 million additional Veterans have enrolled in VA healthcare.
  • More than 1.2 million Veterans and eligible family members have received educational assistance and vocational training through VA.
  • The disability claims backlog is down over 45 percent since March of last year.
  • And Veterans' homelessness has also declined by 24 percent since 2010.

The President understands and appreciates the sacrifices you and your families have made for our Nation, and his budgets for VA have reflected this understanding—increasing by 68 percent over the past six budget requests. We could not have a stronger Veterans' advocate.

It's my personal and professional honor to introduce to you our Commander-In-Chief, the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.