2024 presidential candidates salute military service with Veterans Day messages

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2024 presidential candidates salute military service with Veterans Day messages

The 2024 presidential candidates thanked military members and veterans for their service in light of the day of remembrance Saturday.

Veterans Day is always Nov. 11, but because that date fell on a Saturday this year, the federal holiday was observed on Friday.

Ahead of a year of campaigning, candidates vying to secure a spot at the White House shared messages thanking members for their service and promoting their beliefs about the military.

President Joe Biden

President Biden (D) shared a post on social media honoring the veterans “past and present.”

“To be a veteran is to have endured and survived challenges most Americans will never know,” Biden said in a video shared online. “All of us owe you.”

Biden’s late son, Beau Biden, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service in Iraq.

“Today, we honor the story of our veterans – the story of our nation at its best,” Biden’s post said.

Biden honored veterans Saturday by attending Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. On Friday, the White House announced that it would be expanding health care coverage for veterans including nursing home care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Former President Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump (R) shared a post on his social media platform Truth Social that praised veterans and their families’ sacrifices.

“Our Veterans will never stop fighting for the America we cherish,” Trump’s post said. “The full measure of your sacrifice and your family’s dedication in support of your service may not be fully understood and appreciated, but it will never be forgotten.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) campaigned using his own military background in a Veterans Day message.

“To all who have worn the cloth of our country, and to those who sacrificed so much for this great nation: we thank you,” he said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “As a veteran myself, I am honored by the unwavering support we receive. I will always have the backs of our vets.”

DeSantis is the only presidential candidate who served in the military.

A video from his campaign featured a montage of veterans lauding DeSantis’ leadership qualities. DeSantis was a JAG officer in the U.S. Navy from 2004 until 2010, serving as a legal adviser in Guantánamo Bay and Iraq.

While at Guantánamo, since-released prisoners allege that he witnessed torture practices.

He was based in the U.S. for much of his military service, including as a legal adviser to SEAL Team One in California and as an assistant federal prosecutor in Central Florida. He later served in the Navy reserve until he became governor of Florida in 2019.

Nikki Haley

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) shared two posts on social media celebrating Veterans Day.

One of Haley’s posts praised the service of her husband, Michael Haley, who is a commissioned officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard. The former first gentleman of South Carolina was deployed on a yearlong tour in Afghanistan in 2012.

“Proud of my veteran @WMichaelHaley and the many men and women who have served to defend our freedoms,” Haley’s post said. “Thank you to the sacrifice of our military families who continue to support them.”

Haley’s other post, shared on her campaign account, shared photos with various veterans. Team Haley said “we love our veterans and are thankful for their service and defending our freedoms.”

“We wouldn’t be the greatest country in the world without them,” the post said.

Vivek Ramaswamy

Entrepreneur and presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy (R) shared a video from a campaign event where a World War II veteran praised his campaign platform.

The veteran thanked Ramaswamy for his policy ideas, to which the candidate gave the man a hug. Ramaswamy thanked the man for his “service to this country.”

“Today is about the men and women who made us the freest nation in the history of mankind. For God & country,” Ramaswamy’s post said. “Thank you to our veterans, the heroes.”

Sen. Tim Scott

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) posted online Friday, when the federal holiday was observed, and said between his father and brothers, his family has over eight decades of combined military service.

“I’ve seen the scarifies veterans & their families make for this great country,” Scott’s post said.

The senator shared a video where he applauds the service of veterans at a campaign event.

“When I’m president, our service members will have every tool they need & our veterans will have every resource they deserve,” Scott said in the post.

Scott shared a second post online on Saturday that urged Americans to personally thank veterans.

“So when you see a veteran, take the time and say thank you,” Scott said in an accompanying video. “Our nation has benefitted from sacrificial service. This is the day that we get to share with them our heartfelt affection.”

Gov. Doug Burgum

Gov. Doug Burgum (R-N.D.) shared a post that said the candidate thinks one of the most important things society can do is honor and care for veterans.

“My dad was a World War II Navy veteran. He passed away when I was a freshman in high school after battling serious illness for two years,” Burgum said in a video with the post. “When an individual served, the whole family serves.”

Burgum said when veterans come back from serving “it is our responsibility, it is our duty to take care of them.”

The candidate thanked veterans for their service on behalf of himself and the state’s first lady, Catherine Burgum.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. posted on X touting his political beliefs about wars abroad for Veterans Day.

“I won’t send our troops abroad for oil wars or regime change wars,” his post said. “Once elected, I will give veterans a formal say in shaping policies that are pro-veteran and pro-peace. #Kennedy24.”

In a video with the post, Kennedy said he wanted to share some words with veterans and “go beyond merely thanking” them. RFK Jr. has been highly critical of the Iraq war and American support for Ukraine in its war against Russia.

“I know that you did not join the armed forces to visit violence and mayhem around the world, but our nation’s foreign policy establishment and the military industrial complex has waged many questionable wars and has created a global empire that generates endless crops of new enemies.”

Kennedy said if he were to be elected, he would “eventually shutter” the 800 American military bases around the world. To do so, he said he would create a permanent veteran’s advisory council so “veterans have a say in future decisions about war and peace.”