Yongsan, South Korea - The holiday season is here. With a time of celebration in the air, Eighth Army took the opportunity to look back at 2016 and prepare for the New Year during the Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal's Holiday Reception at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, South Korea, Dec. 10.The reception was an annual social gathering, held at the conclusion of the year, intended to promote holiday spirit and reinforce the alliance between the Republic of Korea and the U.S.Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Dickey, U.S. Forces Korea Special Troops Battalion senior enlisted advisor, stressed the importance of these events in order to enhance the community spirit among Eighth Army personnel and spread that spirit through the entire alliance."The Holiday Reception helps us grow as a team and brings the commands and major subordinate commands together at the end of the year to celebrate all the accomplishments made by the Eighth Army team during 2016," Dickey said.During the event, Vandal stressed the importance of the ROK-U.S. alliance and the holiday spirit to members of the U.S. Forces Korea, ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command, Department of Defense, United Nations Command and the ROK government and military.Vandal said we should not forget what the holidays are truly about."The holidays are a special time for reflection and perspective," Vandal said. "It's a time to share warmth and good cheer and to reflect on family, friends and what is most important to us."Vandal noted the significance that these social events have on the ROK and U.S."Today is not just about gathering together," Vandal said. "But it's about sharing our common bond as we prepare for the holidays and the New Year. Moments like this truly bring the alliance closer each and every day."Vandal also appreciated and valued the ROK-U.S. partnership while emphasizing it will be steady as ever."Our alliance is one of the greatest gifts that we can share for this holiday season," Vandal added. "Regardless of the challenges that we may encounter in 2017, be reassured that the alliance is strong and is ready. It has no boundaries and continues to grow stronger every year."