On behalf of myself and my wife, Kim, we would like to wish you and your loved ones a joyous and wondrous holiday season. I'm sure, as we are, you are all looking forward to spending quality time with Family and friends, which may even mean a much-needed trip home. For us, it also means the arrival of our first grandchild.

As I reflect on the past year and think about this season of joy, I think about our Aviation Soldiers who will observe the holiday season in over 120 countries around the world again this year. Many are separated from their Families, and some may even once again be preparing for a deployment.

All of us who remember similar Christmas seasons in our own lives can relate deeply to what they are going through. We also must think about those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and their Families. We know their service was essential to our nation's well-being, and we appreciate the sacrifices they made and the sacrifices our Soldiers continue to make.

So during this season when many of us are warm, safe and happy in our homes with friends and relatives, please pause and toast all those who serve and those who never came back and their Families for all they have done and do to make this country proud.

The mission we execute here at Fort Rucker is essential to our nation's security, and we are a critical enabler on battlefields across the globe to our Soldiers and coalition partners. We must all remember that our proximity to the battlefield has nothing to do with our contribution to the war fight.

Kim and I want to personally recognize the Fort Rucker Team for what you do on a daily basis to support our nation and our Soldiers. If it weren't for your efforts, we would not and could not succeed at producing and supporting the most highly trained professional Aviation force in the world.

We all must take time over the holidays to give thanks for our Families, our teammates, our Army and the great nation we are blessed to call home.

I thank each and every one of you for your enthusiasm, your professionalism, your hard work and the sacrifices you make each and every day. And I thank your Families and loved ones who contribute so much to our mission by supporting you in the work you do.

Please enjoy your time away, and always keep safety in mind. We want to see each and every one of you back here in the New Year, refreshed and ready for the challenges ahead.

Again, my Family and I wish you and yours the very best holiday season, and health and happiness in the New Year. Above the Best!

Page last updated Thu December 15th, 2011 at 11:04