Remember our warfighters this holiday season
December 11, 2008
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - December's arrival has quickly focused our attention on the many seasonal activities and celebrations that occur annually during this final month of the year.
The universal spirit of kindness, generosity and goodness becomes more noticeable as we go about our daily schedules and prepare ourselves, our families and our homes for the upcoming holidays.
But as we plan our holiday festivities, let us also remember that many of our fellow Americans and their loved ones will again spend the holidays apart.
Most of our uniformed men and women who are deployed or assigned overseas will not be home with their families and friends this December. Instead, they will be performing the important mission of protecting our freedoms, and the freedoms of citizens of other countries, in lands vastly different from our own beloved country.
The holiday season is best known as a time when friends and family exchange gifts. We must not forget that our servicemen and women serving abroad give us a most precious gift this holiday season - peace and security at home. As we enjoy the holiday season, I urge you to express gratitude to our service members and their families for their sacrifice and service in the cause of freedom!
There are many ways to thank and remember the warfighters who sacrifice so much for us. Frequent flier miles can be donated to wounded warriors so their loved ones can visit them. Gift certificates to military exchanges can be purchased for deployed personnel. Through the Red Cross, holiday cards can be mailed to military members recovering and rehabilitating in hospitals. Other ideas can be found at the Web site www.americasupportsyou.com.
As you are aware, in addition to the holidays, this last month of the year also brings with it the beginning of the winter months. With winter comes the likelihood of freshly falling snow and the risks that are inherent in slippery roads and frozen walkways. I caution you to be particularly careful this month as we await the challenges that winter can bring. Simple activities like driving, walking and shoveling snow all harbor hidden risks when we do things too quickly or exert ourselves too much. Please be careful!
I am very honored to serve with each of you, and extremely proud to witness the extraordinary work you do for our nation. Each of you has my sincerest appreciation for your service and sacrifice for our warfighters!
Marilyn and I wish you and your family all the joy and happiness that the holiday season brings.