Since the United States’ founding, millions—including myself, my husband, my father, and six siblings—have answered the call of duty to defend our nation’s valor. Each year, on November 11th, we honor their service and sacrifice.

My own call to service began when at 18-years-old, I enlisted in the United States Army. From the Vietnam Era to the Gulf War, I served the United States for 24-years both enlisted and officer, nurse and doctor, active duty to reserves. In my service, I attended to both the physical and mental wounds suffered by military personnel. I retired as a Lt. Colonel and have always looked back fondly on my years in the Army.

As a member of Congress, I am honored to have the opportunity to continue my service to this great nation and to the thousands of incredible veterans I represent in Iowa.

I have seen firsthand the crises that our servicemembers and veterans face through my experiences in the military and in healthcare. My top priority in Congress will always be to advance issues and legislation that ensures every veteran is given the same care and dedication that they have shown to this country. This is the minimum that we can do to honor them.

Since taking office, I have been humbled to serve on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee where I have had the opportunity to hear from several veteran advocates, service organizations, and government officials. I was proud to join my colleagues in introducing bipartisan legislation to honor and serve our veterans such as the Sgt. Brandon Ketchum Rural Veterans Mental Health Act, the GI Bill NEED Act, the Save our Servicemembers (SOS) ActVeterans in Parks Act, and the Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) Improvement Act, to name a few.

Like many others, I am proud to have served this great country and I am forever grateful for the millions of men and women who have served under the United States flag defending our freedom and our values.

On Veterans Day we take time to pay tribute to the countless men and women who have sacrificed in service to our country, giving their last full measure of devotion. While we should honor their sacrifice every day, Veterans Day is just that: a day for our heroes. We will never forget their sacrifice in the name of justice, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the American dream.

Mariannette Miller-Meeks is a 24-year Army veteran and member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee who currently represents Iowa’s Second District in the United States House of Representatives.