Senate creates holiday for Afghanistan veterans

The U.S. Senate recently passed a resolution designating Oct. 7 as Operation Enduring Freedom Veterans Day.

That date marks the 11th anniversary of the Afghanistan war. More than half a million American military members have served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

The resolution was introduced by U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, to honor the men and women who served.

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Andrew Koenig, a native of Casper, Wyo., initiated the process by contacting Enzi. While serving in Afghanistan he was shot by a sniper, the bullet hitting his helmet and narrowly missing his forehead. He wanted this day to honor those still serving in Afghanistan.

“A grateful nation thanks the heroes of Operation Enduring Freedom for their bravery, service, and sacrifice and that of their families,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “This resolution honors the brave men and women who served in Operation Enduring Freedom for stepping forward when their country needed them and achieving the mighty task that is the namesake of their mission.”

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