Since its very beginning, this wonderful nation we call home has relied on Soldiers to win and defend our cherished freedoms. By donning our country's uniform, you have broken that invisible barrier between citizen and patriot, just as the earliest Soldiers did back in 1775. America's birthday is made all the more poignant by your continued service -- thank you to you and your brothers and sisters in harm's way. May God bless and protect you all.

Many of you will take advantage of the holiday to enjoy a short break from work and indulge in some well deserved rest and relaxation. Even off duty, however, you must stay on top of your game. Risk management works just as well on roads and waterways at home as it does on missions outside the wire. Whether you're headed to the beach or lake or just celebrating locally with Family and friends, make a plan and know what can take you and your buddies out of the fight. Too many of our Soldiers continue to fall prey to recklessness and indiscipline -- please look out for one another and keep yourself in check. Both your Family and theirs are
counting on you to do the right thing and bring everyone home.

Thank you again for your service and dedication to our nation. We wish you all a very happy and safe Fourth of July!

Page last updated Wed June 27th, 2012 at 15:23