(CNN) – President Barack Obama said Saturday the end of the war in Iraq should serve as a reminder of the common bond that unites all Americans.
"There's a reason our military is the most respected institution in America," Obama said in his weekly address. "They don't see themselves or each other as Democrats first or Republicans first. They see themselves as Americans first. For all our differences and disagreements, they remind us that we are all a part of something bigger; that we are one nation and one people."
Obama said the country, and particularly politicians, owed an enormous debt to soldiers coming home after the almost nine-year conflict. He did not get into specific policy positions, but did offer broad directives to ensure the health and security of returning troops.
"It is up to us to serve these brave men and women as well as they serve us," Obama said. "Every day, they meet their responsibilities to their families and their country. Now it's time to meet ours – especially those of us who you sent to serve in Washington."
He continued, "This is a moment where we must come together to ensure that every American has the chance to work for a decent living, own their own home, send their kids to college and secure a decent retirement."