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Please note: As of January 20, 2017, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

OPA News Release: [05/24/2012]
Contact Name: Adrian Haro or Emilia Pablo-Montaño
Phone Number: (202) 693-4665 or x4660
Release Number: 12-1067-NAT

Statement by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on selection of Samuel Luna as a ‘Champion of Change’

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement regarding the selection of Samuel Luna as a "Champion of Change":

"Today, the White House Office of Public Engagement will name Vietnam veteran Samuel Luna one of its 'Champions of Change,' a program created as a part of President Obama's Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and different groups of people are recognized for the unique work they do serving and strengthening their communities.

"Samuel Luna is one of 11 veterans who will be honored today for his extraordinary efforts to end veterans' homelessness, boost veterans' employment, address problems with substance abuse and develop treatment programs for those dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"After serving in Vietnam, Sam returned home to do even more for his country. Today, he is the founder of Vets' Journey Home Texas Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides a free weekend retreat to veterans and active duty military personnel. The weekend is a safe place where participants can learn about what their war experience did to their bodies.

"A key part of our mission at the U.S. Department of Labor is to serve the employment needs of our returning soldiers. Our obligation is to serve them on the home front as well as they served us on the battlefield.

"Last year, we created the 'VETS Gold Card' to provide post-9/11-era veterans with robust employment services, and also launched 'My Next Move for Veterans,' a simple and quick search engine that matches up military skills with civilian careers. In July, we will partner with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to launch the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, which will provide 12 months of training assistance to unemployed veterans.

"Programs like Sam's complement and enhance our efforts. So many veterans have benefitted from his work.

And our country as a whole is better off because of his service. I am so proud that President Obama and the White House Office of Public Engagement will name him one of our nation's Champions of Change. He is truly a champion. And the change he has created is extraordinary."