Korean War veteran Howard Osterkamp is said to have coined the phrase, “all gave some; some gave all,” after spending three years in heavy combat with his unit. The saying, used to emphasize the gravitas of serving in our nation’s military, truly connotes how our soldiers serve selflessly.

Too often, veterans return from service with few prospects in civilian life. But the Metal Trades Department, its Councils, and our affiliated unions have worked hard to change that. In labor, we know the value that veterans bring to our organizations. We will always welcome and support our military members while in service and as they retire.

I am proud to say, our Metal Trades partners have spent countless years crafting programs that deliver real opportunities for veterans. Our labor union affiliates provide careers for the men and women transitioning from military service to civilian employment, often expediting training and apprenticeships based upon military duties. I am proud of our management partners whose work supports those still serving, offering jobs to veterans as they retire that allow them to continue to support our military endeavors. 

This Veterans Day, I want to, of course, thank our nation’s veterans for their service. But I also want to thank all of our labor partners for their work to create programs that train and employ veterans. Without these programs, designed by our nation’s labor unions, specifically those affiliated with the Metal Trades, many of our veterans would find themselves with few opportunities as they transition to civilian life. To our veterans, know that we value your service. Like Howard Osterkamp, we know far too many gave all in defense of our freedoms. And we know far too many found themselves unsupported and alone upon returning from service; our unions thank you, and we support you. 

The Metal Trades Department, its affiliates, and councils vow on this Veterans Day or any other day to never forget the patriotism and effort of all who served on behalf of a grateful nation. 

To this very day, veterans who comprise a vital component within the Metal Trades are willing to go where the nation’s leaders lead them and, in many cases, never stop giving their lives for the mission. We salute them all for being willing to see every task on behalf of a nation’s national security literally through to its end. On behalf of the affiliates, officers and staff of the department, I offer all veterans today our thanks, gratitude and respect. 

God bless you all. 

In Solidarity,

James Hart, 

Metal Trades Department President