Remember Soldiers this Thanksgiving
Maj. Gen. James Milano is Fort Jackson's commanding general.

Thanksgiving Day is a special holiday, a time in the year when family members across America, when possible, reunite and realize how fortunate they are, despite all of life's challenges. Unfortunately, not all of us can be home for Thanksgiving.

With that in mind, I ask you to spend some time this Thanksgiving to reflect on our deployed comrades who currently find themselves far away from home and their families during this holiday season. As Soldiers we are taught to be tough, to be resilient and to know how to perform as a team during difficult times. Personally, I am thankful the Army has taught me these things and that I have the opportunity to serve our country as a Soldier.

Is there any other career choice, occupational field, company or corporation that offers a stronger family tie than the one we share'

Becoming a member of the Army family is what makes Soldiering special. No other profession compares; it's what makes the Army unique.

As Soldiers, we share a sense of pride that goes beyond the mission. We protect each other in peace and in war. We embrace the tremendous responsibilities entrusted to us. Despite our diverse backgrounds and individual differences, we accomplish our mission as a unit and as a family.

The bond we share goes beyond geographical borders.

Members of our military family who find themselves deployed today feel this bond, as well. They know that they are in our thoughts and prayers and that we are concerned about their safety and well-being.
It takes courage, sacrifice and selfless service to be on the front line, protecting those things we cherish and our way of life. The knowledge that they are in other family members' hearts goes a long way in making each day a little bit brighter. Deployments are always difficult, but they are necessary for the foreseeable future if we are to continue to enjoy the many things that make this country great.

In defending the American way of life, we find ourselves in an extended conflict. Many Soldiers will not have the opportunity to be home and eat a holiday meal. As history would have it, Thanksgiving became a national holiday some 150 years ago during a time of war. The holiday began as a day when Soldiers in the field could enjoy some of the comforts of home.

You should take comfort in knowing that our deployed Soldiers are finding a way to mark this holiday in the most fitting way possible - Soldiers make the best of all situations. Soldiers are strong and understand that their sacrifices are not in vain, as they defend the privileges and unparalleled freedoms that all Americans enjoy.

On a personal note, I thank each and every one of you who make Fort Jackson a great place to serve our Army. The effort, hard work and commitment to excellence that I see every day do not go unnoticed. We could not sustain excellence the way we do if it were not for your selfless service and dedication to duty.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Army Strong, and Victory Starts Here!

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16