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Among all the federal holidays we observe as Americans, one of the most significant and meaningful is Veterans Day. It’s a time for us all to recognize and honor our military veterans, along with their contributions to the preservation of freedom.

America is a nation at war and the U.S. military remains engaged in fights that have produced a new a generation of heroes that stepped forward without condition. These men and women represent the very best among us — and across our communities many of them are now teachers, police officers, firemen and public servants, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for what they’ve done and what they continue to do.

One of the greatest attributes of the U.S. military is that it remains an all-volunteer force, inviting the most patriotic people to come forward to serve. And while the military is not by design a jobs program, it offers Americans vast opportunity through education and leadership, both of which have helped veterans succeed in the civilian job market.

At its core, the U.S. military is a force for good, bringing with it strong values and respect for foreign governments and their people. The last 15 years in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been easy, but America’s military through it all has performed admirably.

As we reflect on our veterans, keep in mind heroes like Army Maj. Matt Golsteyn. Golsteyn, a Green Beret, was awarded a Sliver Star and recommended for a Distinguished Service Cross for heroism in Afghanistan. He assembled his unit after coming under sniper fire, and launched an assault across 700 meters of open terrain. Golsteyn ran 150 meters through open fire, coordinated a medical evacuation and relieved as many as 80 men that were pinned down. He alone faced 30 enemy fighters.

Keep in mind Army Lt. Col. and Green Beret Jason Amerine, who was among the first boots on the ground in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and successfully led the mission that set the pace for the early stages of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. Later, as an Army officer in the shadows of the Pentagon, Amerine worked tirelessly and successfully to reform U.S. hostage policy.

Keep in mind Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta, who joined the Marines the day after he received his green card. Peralta smothered a grenade in Fallujah, Iraq, saving the lives of his fellow Marines. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross and nominated for the Medal of Honor.

Keep in mind now-Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bradley Kasal, who received the Navy Cross for covering a Marine at the sight of a live grenade just feet away. He was severely wounded but continued to fight, losing approximately 60 percent of his blood.

These are the stories of our military service members that complement thousands of other valor awards that have been given to the latest generation of heroes through hard-fought campaigns on distant battlefields. They are all warriors at heart — and they’ve all understood the risks that come with military service. Often, they ask for nothing in return, but each deserves our respect and appreciation for their sacrifice.

Conservative groups poised to lose power under Trump

Also from the Washington Examiner

Conservative groups are poised to lose power in Washington with the arrival of President-elect Donald Trump.

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Through World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan, America’s military has forged itself as America’s greatest asset, not just for its capability but also for the type of individual it creates. We are deeply indebted to the millions of men and women who’ve carried the banner of freedom and they are owed our thanks and appreciation.

To all our veterans on this Veterans Day, this Marine says Semper Fi. And thank you.

Duncan D. Hunter, a former Marine, represents California’s 52nd congressional district. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.

Five things Trump could do to change Obamacare right away

Top Story

There’s a laundry list of things President-elect Donald Trump could do on his own to modify the Affordable Care Act, even if Congress gets hung up on exactly how to repeal and replace it.

While the Affordable Care Act is a lengthy piece of legislation, the Obama administration issued many more pages of regulations and guidance explaining exactly how it should be implemented. The new administration, under the direction of Trump, could amend or get rid of those directives as soon as it’s in place next year, and thus significantly alter the law without having to wait for Congress.

Additionally, the Department of Justice is involved in several ongoing disputes involving the healthcare law and some of the payments it lays out for

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