BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Ahead of Veterans Day, Sen. Jack Reed visited the Rhode Island Veterans Home where he had one simple, but important, message to share with its residents.

“Thank you,” he said.

Reed joined volunteers from Operation Gratitude to deliver 200 care packages to residents at the nursing home. The care packages, he said, include snacks, entertainment items, handmade paracord bracelets and personal letters of appreciation.

“Our freedoms…they’ve been purchased by young men and women who have sacrificed sometimes their lives, and sometimes years of their lives, to protect the nation, we can’t forget that,” Reed said.

Reed, who is a West Point graduate that serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction-Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA), said the care packages are a small token of gratitude from the community.

He said the care packages also remind them that they are appreciated, especially during a global pandemic that has forced social distancing.

On Monday, President-Elect Joe Biden announced his COVID-19 Task Force and mitigation plans for the virus, and Pfizer released promising data for its vaccine, which revealed it could be 90% effective.

Biden’s plan to tackle the pandemic head-on, as well as the potential for a vaccine, would both play vital roles in the nation’s recovery.

“A COVID vaccine would be extremely useful and get us back on economic development,” he explained.

Reed said he agrees with Biden, who mentions time and time again that moving forward, the country must come together to overcome the division and tension plaguing the nation.

He said doing so starts in the White House with President Donald Trump, who has yet to concede the election.

“The president has to recognize he’s in a transition, and he should do all he can to assist President-Elect Biden so that when he is sworn in, he is ready to go,” Reed said. “That’s for the benefit of the country.”

He also responded to Trump’s firing of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper in a statement, calling the move “reckless and unnecessary.”

“Firing the Secretary of Defense in the waning weeks of the administration undermines national security at a critical moment,” he said. “The president’s choice to fire Secretary Esper is a play for attention and is yet another example of President Trump putting his ego over the needs and security of our nation.”

Reed said last week he had no interest in taking a cabinet position with the Biden Administration. he doubled down Monday adding that he is committed to the people of Rhode Island, especially following his re-election.