As Americans prepare to honor the nation's war dead on the Memorial Day weekend, President Barack Obama says he will do all he can to support members of the U.S. military and their families.  
President Obama says Americans have a responsibility to serve their fighting men and women as well as they serve their country.  He says in recent years the United States has sometimes failed to live up to that responsibility.

"We failed to give them the support they need or pay them the respect they deserve," said the president. "That is a betrayal of the sacred trust that America has with all who wear, and all who have worn, the proud uniform of our country.  And that is a sacred trust I am committed to keeping as president of the United States."

In his weekly address, Mr. Obama says Americans can honor veterans by sending a letter or package to troops overseas, volunteering at health clinics or just saying "thank you" to a veteran walking by on the street.

The president also says he will send the military into battle only when needed, and will give them the necessary training and equipment.

"That is why I will send our servicemen and women into harm's way only when it is necessary and ensure that they have the training and equipment they need when they enter the theater of war," he said.

Mr. Obama will interrupt a family weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat on Monday to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

The opposition Republicans' weekly message focuses on alternative energy.  Senator John Barrasso, from the western state of Wyoming, says Republicans support a comprehensive plan to double the U.S. investment in energy research.  

He says his party also wants to explore and develop America's oil and gas resources, and promote nuclear power and so-called "clean coal."  

But Barrasso says Democrats are making a mistake by ruling out the use of U.S. oil in some places. 

"There are billions of barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf," he said. "There is even more in Alaska.  There is enough oil shale in the Rocky Mountain West alone to power America for the next hundred years.  The Democrats say all this American energy is off limits."

Senator Barrasso says energy independence is a matter of energy security and national security.