U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday military veterans deserve "a good job, a good education and a home to call their own."
In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president thanked veterans but said: "Now that more of them are coming home, we need to serve them as well as they served us. That requires more than a simple 'thank you' -- especially from those of us who've been elected to serve."
Economic growth, he said, includes "making sure that every veteran has every chance to share in the opportunity he or she has helped defend."
"In addition to the care and benefits they've earned -- including good mental health care to stay strong -- that means a good job, a good education, and a home to call their own," Obama said.
"If you fight for your country overseas, you should never have to fight for a job when you come home," the president said. "I've made sure the federal government leads by example, and since I took office, we've hired about 300,000 veterans to keep serving their country. Our new transition assistance program is helping veterans and their spouses find that new job and plan their career. And I'm going to keep calling on Congress to do the right thing and pass the Veterans Jobs Corps. Put our veterans to work rebuilding America."
Obama said the private sector has joined with first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill Biden, in the Joining Forces campaign, which helps returning veterans find jobs.
"They've already hired or trained 290,000 veterans and military spouses, and they've committed to hiring over 400,000 more," the president said.
"But we've got a lot more to do," he said. "And as more than a million of our troops return to civilian life, we're going to have to work even harder."
Obama assured veterans that "as long as I'm your President, I will make it my mission to make sure that America has your back, not just on one day or one weekend, but 365 days a year."
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Original headline: Obama: Economic growth must include veterans
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