Each year on Veterans Day our country celebrates the men and women who have contributed to making our Armed Forces the finest the world has ever seen. The success of our military, and indeed, our nation as a whole, is rooted in the dynamism, courage and sacrifice demonstrated by generations of immigrants who have answered the call of duty.
Since the birth of our democracy, immigrants from all corners of the world have fought for American independence and defended our ideals. As of May 2013, more than 30,000 lawful permanent residents were serving in our Armed Forces. This Administration recognizes that to selflessly commit yourself to defending a country that is not yet fully your own is to act beyond the call of duty. Today, we thank our immigrant veterans for protecting and strengthening their adopted homeland.
Elizabeth “Liz” Perez-Halperin, a Wounded Warrior veteran and White House Champion of Change, is a shining example of the drive immigrants bring to our Armed Forces. Liz’s father joined the U.S. military shortly after immigrating to the United States from Mexico. He came to this country in search of the American Dream, and compelled by its promise, chose to serve under its flag.
Sharing a similar sense of patriotism, Liz followed in her father’s footsteps and decided to work for the U.S. Navy. For eight years she was in charge of refueling aircrafts and through that experience, came to realize that our national security was inextricably linked to our oil dependency. Using the knowledge she gained in the Navy, she founded GC Green Incorporated, a company that provides job training and placement assistance to veterans in the renewable energy industry. Her efforts remind us that the contributions of our servicemen and women don’t end when they take off their uniform, and nor should our dedication to their continued success.