As America comes together to celebrate Thanksgiving, it is important that we give thanks to those who have earned this freedom.

While we take time to appreciate being with family and friends and having a safe place to enjoy a filling meal together, and, of course, watching the Patriots play the Jets, I ask that we also pause to remember those that are not home for the holidays.

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) are serving in Afghanistan and others are in hospitals recovering from wounds received fighting for our country. I am very proud of their selfless service and the difference they are making in Afghanistan. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, as they are not able to be with their loved ones this year. Please also remember our Gold Star Families who will be without their loved ones on another Thanksgiving.

Although this begins a season of joy and goodwill, it also brings some hazards, so I ask that you take time to be prepared and place safety as a key factor in everything you do. Each of you, whether a Soldier or a Family member, is a vital member of our team and your safety during the holidays is of the utmost concern to me. Also, please exercise caution while participating in higher-risk activities such as hunting, skiing and when building those cozy home fires.

Finally, be mindful that this is a particularly stressful time of the year. Driving, traffic, crowded stores, family dynamics, being away from home and other situations all add stress. Be aware of the stress points and know when to take a break or to ask for help if you need it before letting situations get out of control. We have access to chaplains, counselors, and a whole host of community services that are here to support you when needed. Asking for help is a sign of strength.

Our military dining facilities go all out to provide a nice meal to our troops on Thanksgiving day -- both in garrison and while deployed. Our cooks do a fine job and work overtime to ensure they lay out the best meal possible, and I look forward to helping them serve here at Fort Campbell.

I want to thank every Soldier who wears a uniform in defense of our nation. I also would like to include every spouse, child, and family member who also sacrifices. Wherever you are on this Thanksgiving Day, whether in uniform or not, know that we are grateful for your service.

Air Assault!

Eagle 6