Americans gave a well-deserved salute to past military members Monday. But even as Veterans Day parades, commemorations and other ceremonies were held across the land, today’s armed forces were carrying out a vital new mission far from home.
And in this case, they weren’t fighting the forces of terror.
They were rushing to assist the people of the Philippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan’s stunning devastation.
The U.S. Pacific Command is already collaborating on American humanitarian efforts as Filipinos struggle to recover from that incredibly powerful storm.
Haiyan struck the island nation’s east coast Friday, then swept through its central regions with winds gusting to 170 mph and a storm surge of 20 feet. The death toll is expected to surpass 10,000.
But help was soon on the way from not just international and U.S. humanitarian organizations, but from America’s men and women in military uniforms. U.S. C-130 transport planes delivered water, generators, food and Marines to hard-hit Tacloban on Monday. Our armed forces are also conducting sea search-and-rescues.
And President Barack Obama delivered this timely message of encouragement to Filipinos on Sunday: “I know the incredible resiliency of the Philippine people, and I am confident that the spirit of Bayanihan [Filipino for “community” and “cooperation”] will see you through this tragedy.”
And Americans know that our military — past, present and future — has been, is, and will continue to be a mighty force for good around the world.