Gov. Jay Nixon is encouraging Missourians to observe Veterans of Operation Iraqi/Enduring Freedom Day on Tuesday (March 26) in honor of the nation's military veterans who served in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last year, the Governor signed into law a bill designating March 26 as the date in Missouri to give special honor and recognition to those veterans who have served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Desert Storm.
"Tens of thousands of Missourians have bravely fought and served on our behalf in the Middle East during these conflicts, and several thousand continue to serve in the active theaters of operation," Gov. Nixon said. "It is our responsibility to honor and respect their sacrifice throughout the year, and the designation of this day highlights that obligation. I thank these veterans and their families for what they have done for our country and our state."
Gov. Nixon has traveled twice to Iraq and three times to Kuwait and Afghanistan since 2009 (most recently in December 2012) to meet with U.S. military and civilian leaders in those countries and to visit with Missourians serving in the Missouri National Guard or the regular armed forces.
In January 2010, Gov. Nixon also launched the Show-Me Heroes initiative, which works with Missouri employers to give first consideration to military veterans when job openings occur. In the past three years, more than 2,900 Missouri employers have taken the Show-Me Heroes pledge, and more than 4,200 veterans have been hired by those businesses since those employers joined the program.