FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- During this special time of year, it's always a joy to see our communities come alive with festive light displays, parades, and events. Like many of you, Michele and I want to take a moment during this holiday season to reflect on the past year and the things we are so thankful for in our lives. One of those blessings is serving at Fort Rucker.

Truly the Wiregrass is a special place to be afforded the opportunity to live, work, and play, and we couldn't be happier to be able to call Fort Rucker and the Wiregrass "home."

We are humbled to be able to serve alongside some of the finest Army Aviation professionals in the world. For all of our Soldiers and Army civilians who stand watch every day, we appreciate all you do for our Nation. You are the heart and soul of our Army and Army Aviation.

We offer a special 'thank you' to our Families -- it is their understanding, love and support, every day and through challenging times, that re-centers our lives on what matters the most.

We are thankful for our Nation's legacy of service that has been handed down from heroes across history, by proud veterans who risked -- and some gave -- their lives, to establish, protect and defend our freedom and the values we hold dear. This time of year is a great time to say a much-deserved thank-you to them.

Our Army community is famous for its spirit of giving, and I encourage each of you this holiday season to reach out to someone in need, to volunteer, or find a way to help make a life better.

For those who will be absent a family member at your gatherings, we join you in remembering. We also ask that everyone keep our Soldiers who are in harm's way in your thoughts and prayers during the holidays.

For those of you who will be on the highways traveling as you enjoy some well-deserved time with your families, please keep safety in mind as you celebrate the holiday season.

On behalf of the command group, Michele and I wish you all the blessings of a safe and happy holiday season and a Merry Christmas.