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Immediate Release

Statement From Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on Veterans Day and National Veteran and Military Families Month

Today and throughout November, we give special recognition to veterans and military families for their invaluable contributions and steadfast service to our country.

The Department of Defense's greatest strategic asset is our people, and we must take the best possible care of them and their families. So, we are working closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that every veteran has a smooth transition to civilian life, that they receive the comprehensive health care that they have earned, and that they and their families receive the valuable assistance available through our programs and services.

The Department has recently launched several major initiatives to take even better care of all of our people. We have lengthened paid parental leave to 12 weeks for all service members. We have made high-quality childcare on military installations more affordable and accessible. We have expanded service members' eligibility for Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts. And we will continue to make life easier and better for our service members and their families by supporting the careers of military spouses, making military moves easier, increasing service member pay, and securing affordable basic needs for our service members and their families.

Our service members and veterans chose to put service before self. That ethos extends beyond their years in uniform. Many of our veterans continue to serve their communities after serving their country and enrich our democracy as leaders, teachers, coaches, mentors, and more.

So to all our troops, veterans, and military families on this Veterans Day: Thank you for all that you have given to keep America safe. You have our deepest gratitude and our everlasting commitment to continue to uphold the values that you defended.