It seems hard to believe that we are days away from a New Year -- 2012.

2011 has been another successful year for the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade. We welcomed home the 201st MI Battalion from Afghanistan and watched the 14th MI Battalion train and subsequently deploy to the same theater. We continue to see deployments and redeployments from the Soldiers and Civilians of Task Force ODIN and the 204th ARL Battalion. Our 717th Battalion maintains an ever vigilant watch supporting strategic to tactical decision-makers around the world. Both the 401st and HHD Companies remain steadfast in their unequaled support to Army South, Southern Command, and other organizations with requirements and deployments to Latin America.

At home we continue to train vigorously, always finding ways to do things better, learning how to use new equipment, and we have played valuable roles in the training of other intelligence units as well. Our Soldiers and civilians continue to excel, both collectively and individually, continuing to demonstrate the best of the qualities of trust, training and fitness.

The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's are sometimes called the Season of Giving, but members of the 470th MI Brigade give of themselves throughout the year. As I look back, I see an impressive list of entities and causes that have received generous support from our volunteers. The Fisher House, Army Emergency Relief, Soldiers' Angels, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, victims of the wildfires in Bastrop, Texas, and local elementary school children have all benefitted from our members' selfless efforts. Our team does more than "give back" -- they give forward.

As you spend time with families and friends, please keep our deployed Soldiers and their families in your thoughts and prayers. Their selfless service, dedication and bravery help secure the freedoms and blessings that we continue to enjoy. And if you are traveling, please be sure you are rested and alert when you do so, and then come safely back to us when your holiday is over.