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A Special Veterans Day Message From General President Walter Wise

Nov 09, 2012

Throughout the history of the United States and Canada, we have asked our sons and daughters to defend our liberties and keep the flame of freedom burning bright for the rest of the world.

The commitment and sacrifice of these proud Veterans has not gone unnoticed.

Throughout our 116-year history, the ranks of the Iron Workers has swelled with proud Veterans. Their service has not only protected nations—it has helped to build them.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Ironworkers opened our hearts and arms to those returned from Vietnam, saying, “Welcome home, Brother!” And we have reaped untold benefits from their service as Union Ironworkers during the past forty years.

To offer the same opportunities to those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iron Workers—together with the other 14 building trades—secured federal funding for Helmets to Hardhats, a program that helps Veterans transition from their military duties to career opportunities with fair wages and benefits. But after “no earmarks” erased funding and the Department of Defense would not sacrifice one cruise missile to fund Helmets to Hardhats, it was the building trades, our contractors and our customers who stepped forward to ensure that veterans have access to training and secure jobs after they have served their country so patriotically.

Our Veterans did not serve just one day a year.  They laid their lives on the line, and we should never miss an opportunity to thank them for their service—and for our freedom. The Iron Workers remain steadfast in supporting our men and women in uniform, as well as in our commitment to provide career opportunities to build our great nations.

Thank you, Veterans, for all that you do.

Walter W. Wise

General President

Iron Workers Union