A Holiday Message
As we embark on the holiday season, I wish you and yours the very best. I hope for you this can be a time of joy and celebration, a chance to reflect on those blessings for which we should be thankful. I am grateful for your continued support and the opportunity to serve as your National Commander.
Fittingly, the nation’s holiday season begins with Veterans Day. On the 11th day of the 11th month of the century’s 11th year, celebrate yours and your fellow veterans’ service and sacrifice. You should be proud of the decision you made to put your country before your own safety and comfort.
It is clear that many will not have the fortune this year to enjoy the holidays. Due to injuries and ailments suffered through their time protecting the red, white and blue, many continue sacrificing their well-being and comfort in the name of freedom. Many will spend this special season hospitalized, in a nursing facility or bedridden at home.
Of course, hundreds of thousands of America’s finest will spend the holidays on duty in some of the globe’s most dangerous climes and places, fighting our enemies instead of enjoying time with family and friends. There is no device, application or website that will bring them the joy that comes from being with family in the warmth and love of a home.
Please, as you celebrate the season with your loved ones, ask that they set aside time to remember and honor those who are forsaking their holidays so others do not have to.
Americans owe them all a debt of gratitude that cannot be fully repaid.
As we reflect on the year now fading into history, we must focus on the forthcoming challenges in 2012. Our federal government has a daunting task in dealing with the national budget and debt. Fortunately, I know I can count on each of you to continue standing strong for veterans. More work is needed in keeping Congress and the White House well aware of the moral and legal obligations America has to her disabled veterans, their families and survivors.
Every elected federal official needs to understand that every disabled veteran and family member deserves to receive the care and benefits earned through service and sacrfice. We must continue leading the way in shaping the change our nation is undergoing.
I know you can be counted on as we stand up for veterans in the new year.
Enjoy the holidays and our freedom to worship as we choose. But again, give thanks that we are stronger and safer because of those who are hunting for the enemy in the freezing mountains of Afghanistan and under the desert skies of Iraq.