APG leaders celebrate season in local community
Maj. Gen. Nick Justice (front) and Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Marin celebrate the season Dec. 4 at an Aberdeen parade.

You can tell by the nip in the air the holiday season has arrived. As we celebrate, each in the custom and tradition of our own choosing, I'd like to highlight some of the things going on in our extended family.

The team at Aberdeen Proving Ground -- Soldiers, Family Members, civilian employees and contractors -- share in an exciting destiny. This year we have traveled the same path toward a new future. You see it in all the buildings going up at APG. You can also feel it in the camaraderie and esprit de corps of the people here.

Personally I look at this season as a time of renewal. This is the time of year for us to reflect on our accomplishments, learn from our challenges and prepare for a stronger new year.

On Dec. 4 I had the privilege of participating in the 34th Annual Aberdeen Christmas Parade. We have a great partnership with the local community and I am proud of our involvement in this event.

For me, the parade was like walking into a Norman Rockwell painting. It represented the essence of the American spirit. There was a sense of shared experience and true community that made me feel good. You can also feel the impact we make on our neighbors outside the gates by the warmth of the smiles you get at events like this. We value the partnership of all our community members both on and off post.

Last week we kicked off the season with the Aberdeen Proving Ground Festival of Trees and Holiday Celebration. Dec. 14 we had the Edgewood Area celebration from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Recreation Center. These events focused on the family with a tree lighting ceremony, live entertainment, photos with Santa Claus and refreshments.

I encourage you to not only focus on your personal renewal, but also on your relationship with your family and friends. We all thrive in a strong, supportive environment. It is my most sincere hope that you reach out to those around you and offer a helping hand during this holiday season.

It makes me proud to hear about the wonderful efforts many of you are making sponsoring military families this holiday season. The APG Army Community Service coordinated this effort and should receive a lot of credit for their efforts.

The Edgewood Area food, toy and gift drive has also been a success. In a partnership with the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, APG ACS and the 20th Support Command, our team members adopted 41 APG military families and made their holiday season a little brighter with boxes of food, toys and gifts. They also reached out to the less fortunate outside our gates by donating to the Mason Dixon Community Services, an organization providing emergency food and energy assistance to low-income residents of Harford County.

This tells me that every one of us can make a difference in someone else's life.

We recognize the commitment and increasing sacrifices our team members make every day. We are all committed to empowering, unburdening and protecting the Warfighter, and I thank you for what you do.

From my family to yours, Happy Holidays to all the members of Team APG.

Army Strong!

Page last updated Wed December 15th, 2010 at 00:00