Friday, November 29, 2013
As we celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday, it’s important for us all to reflect on our many blessings. Family and friends immediately come to mind.
But there are many Americans who won’t be able to celebrate this holiday season at their home. Some are serving our nation overseas, thousands of miles away. And in their world, the creature comforts you and I take for granted, things like running water and electricity, are considered luxuries.
As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I’ve had the great honor of meeting many of these American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. Together, they make up the greatest fighting force in the history of the world.
I have been fortunate to witness first-hand, the remarkable work they have done and continue to do in some of the most challenging of circumstances.
Whether in the cities of Iraq or the many remote, isolated villages of Afghanistan, I have seen the oppressive conditions under which our bravest Americans are forced to operate.
Yet our soldiers continue to persevere and carry on, driven by a desire and commitment to keep our enemies at bay. For these Americans, their service to protecting our nation is more than a job. It is a calling.
They maintain an unwavering focus and determination not to surrender an inch to the enemy. And time and time again they show a willingness to reenlist and return to the fight.
I continue to be amazed by their teamwork and compassion – not only towards each other – but also towards the least fortunate among them.
Whether sharing their food and water, or pooling their own money to buy a soccer ball for a child who owns next to nothing – they are living proof of the American spirit of helping others who are down and out.
Our American soldiers serve as some of the best ambassadors the United States could ever hope for. They are tough and determined, yet equally kind and compassionate.
On this Thanksgiving, I want to express all of our appreciation for the service of our men and women in uniform and their families.
To the military spouse, who has to be both mom and dad, God Bless. To the children of our military members, who have missed holidays and birthdays, God Bless you.
It is because of the bravery of our troops, and their willingness to endure tremendous hardships, that we are able to be at home with our families this holiday season.
To our troops and their families, we truly owe you a debt of gratitude we can never repay.